The Pacific Exposition trade, investment, and tourism exhibition will invite countries in the region and Timor Leste. Through the event, Indonesia aims to introduce its Melanesian traits and increase its presence in South Pacific.
According to the Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, the exhibition, initiated by the Indonesian government, offers chances for Pacific countries to enhance economic cooperation through various support programmes.
Indonesia’s population also consists of the Melanesian races in Papua, West Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara, as well as the Polynesian races in Maluku and North Maluku, he said.
Indonesia does not want to compete with New Zealand and Australia, nor even with the US and China, Tantowi said, noting that the country wants to introduce its superior products in culture, tourism, and trade, as well as its investment potential.
With a population of US$260 million and $1 billion in gross domestic product, Indonesia can become an easy market for Pacific countries that hold strengths in agricultural, fishery, and tourism products, the diplomat said.
In March, the Indonesia South Pacific Forum (ISPF) took place in Jakarta, Indonesia with the participation of 15 South Pacific nations. Various cooperation and trade agreements were signed between countries at the forum.