Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Air link could give Indonesian trade more lift

Air link could give Indonesian trade more lift

A Garuda airline plane taxis while another is parked at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International airport in 2007. AFP/Jewel Samad
A Garuda airline plane taxis while another is parked at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International airport in 2007. AFP/Jewel Samad

Air link could give Indonesian trade more lift

A three-day trade and tourism conference aimed at promoting Indonesian-made products in Phnom Penh ended yesterday and although the conference is hoped to boost bilateral trade, an Indonesian diplomat said direct flights would be needed to facilitate the flow of business between the two countries.

Speaking at the closing of the 10th annual Indonesian Trade and Tourism Promotion (ITTP) conference, Pitono Purnomo, Indonesia’s ambassador to Cambodia, said that the annual trade-promotion event has helped increase bilateral trade every year.

However, Pitono highlighted the necessity of pushing for direct flights between Indonesia and Cambodia, adding that state-owned Garuda Indonesia airline could eventually launch the service.

“I believe in the long run, in the future, that would be a good prospect,” he said. “I am encouraging Garuda to open direct flights and hopefully they are considering that.”

Pitono admitted that there are challenges in lobbying the airline to operate a direct flight because the only 5,000 Cambodian tourists visit Indonesia annually, while nearly 50,000 Indonesians visited Cambodia last year.

“The airline company could start with one or three flights a week,” he suggested, adding, “There is no need for a daily flight.”

Ho Vandy, deputy secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, said that official talks for establishing a direct flight began in 2009, although there is little to show for the effort.

However, he added as trade and economic ties deepen with Southeast Asia’s largest country, he hopes the Indonesian ambassador will continue to push for a flight to benefit the Cambodian economy.

“A direct flight will help to bring in more Indonesian tourists to our country,” he said. “At first, it would help to boost the tourism sector and later it would enlarge trade activity and increase investment into Cambodia,” he said.

According to Cambodian tourism statistics, Indonesian tourists to Cambodia reached 23,266 visitors in first six months this year, an increase of 17 percent compared to the same time last year.

Meanwhile, according to statistics from Indonesian government, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $450 million in 2015, a slight uptick from $434 million a year earlier.

The three-day ITTP consisted of 65 booths with 22 companies from Indonesia and 39 Indonesian companies already based in Cambodia. Potential products for import into Cambodia included automotive components, furniture and construction materials.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four