Indonesia, Russia Sign MoU to Trade Palm, Coffee for Jet Fighters
Indonesian state trading company PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia and Russian state conglomerate Rostec have signed a preliminary deal to trade Sukhoi SU-35 jets for commodities like palm oil and coffee, the Indonesian trade ministry said.
“The barter deal, which is under the supervision of the two governments, will involve 11 Sukhoi SU-35 jet fighters and several commodities like coffee, palm oil, tea and others,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita said in a statement.
"The idea was proposed last year and some people suggested Indonesia should trade the jets with our main commodities," Indonesia's trade ministry spokesman Marolop Nainggolan told news agency AFP.
Today, Indonesia's palm exports in Russia are ranked second. "Since the reign of President Sukarno (1945-1967), Indonesia is the largest exporter of palm oil in Russia," Minister Enggar told TEMPO. "Indonesia ensures sustainability, health, and hygiene of palm oil products."
Trade between Russia and Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has tumbled since 2012, but Lukita said the wide-ranging European Union and U.S. financial and trade sanctions against Russia are an opportunity for Indonesia to revive trade through barter deals in other industries.
“It is an opportunity we have to seize. The great potential for economic cooperation during the embargo and counter embargo goes beyond trade and investment issues. We also have the opportunity to enhance cooperation in tourism, student exchange, energy, technology, aviation, etc.,” Enggar added.
Trade between Indonesia and Russia in 2016 amounted to US$2.11 billion – with Indonesia posting a surplus of $411 million as quoted by Reuters.