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Exclusive INTERVIEW: “We Seek Nigerian Investment Partners for Quality Indonesian Automotive Products” – ITPC Director, Hendro Jonathan

The long anticipated West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), a three-day automotive products exhibition, was concluded in Nigeria, on Thursday, May 19th 2022. In addition to featuring suppliers, dealers and manufacturers of mainly automotive spare parts, the event, which held at the Landmark Event Center in Victoria Island, Lagos, also, on its second day, featured Seminar Agenda facilitated by Indonesia Trade Promotion Center (ITPC).

The lecture focused on Indonesia Auto parts, Lubricants, Filters and Pneumatic Tyres.

After the first section, ITPC Director, Hendro Jonathan granted an audience to Motoring World’s Lagos Bureau Chief, Rotimi Asher. He shed light on why ITPC participated in WAAS and its plans to ensure that Nigerian investors shift their attention to Indonesia auto products instead of going to China and Europe.

Excerpt:

Why are you participating in the show?

 We are at WAAS show to help our Nigeria business partners to grow their business, using Indonesia automotive products.

For how long have you been in Nigeria?

Indonesia Trade Promotion Center started operation in Nigeria 2009, but I came to Nigeria in 2021

The seminar at this show is entirely dedicated to ITPC; promoting Indonesia products.

Are you partnering with WAAS?

WAAS is an exhibition outfit; majorly promoting auto spare parts and distribution. We are actually a participant. We started participating in 2020. We are using the platform to collaborate with our Nigeria partners and expand our market by reaching out to West African automotive parts buyers.

Is the Center restricted to promoting only Indonesia automotive parts or other products are inclusive?

We are promoting all products ranging from food and beverages, beauty products, palm oil, auto and other Indonesia products.

How far has your center faired in promoting Indonesia products in Nigeria?

As is it stands now, Indonesia buys more products from Nigeria. The export of Nigeria to Indonesia is far bigger, almost five times bigger compared to Indonesia export to Nigeria. This is true. You can check from the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Abuja. Even the non-oil export to Indonesia is growing. What it means is that our business partners in Nigeria are improving themselves by building bridges between Nigeria and Indonesia. So, Nigeria profits more from Indonesia.

 Can you tell us some of the products you export to Nigeria and what it sells to your country?

Nigeria export Cocoa, rubber, steel and other products. The biggest is Crude oil. Indonesia brings beauty products, textiles, medical equipment, pharmaceutical products, palm oil product, auto spare parts product, which we are showcasing at this show.

With this WAAS exhibition, we are trying to draw the attention of prospective partners, distributors and buyers that if you want to get quality products, you can source them from Indonesia. You can make collaboration with ITPC, because we are Indonesia Government Institution. We are non- profit making institution. We are here to make our partners expand their businesses.

There is this general saying that Indonesia took palm oil seed from Nigeria many years back and later became the largest producer of palm oil in the world. How true is this?

Yes, it is true. Nigeria is the source of palm oil in Indonesia. Over sixty years ago, we brought palm oil seed from West Africa, Nigeria. We nurture them to become our palm oil. Now, Indonesia is the biggest producer and exporter of palm oil to the world; between 50% and 60%. We are also investing here. We have plantation in Rivers and Edo state. Yes, we invest here. We have companies and oil palm plantation to help business people in Nigeria.

How do you see the Nigeria market?

The population of Nigeria is almost the same as Indonesia. Indonesia is about 270 million people while Nigeria is like 200 million. The climate is almost the same. The food, the taste of Indonesia food is also acceptable here. Indonesia and Nigeria has a lot of things in common. So, Nigeria has a big market.

What message do you have for Nigeria business men especially in auto sector who are interested in doing business with Indonesia through ITPC?

Not many Nigerians know about Indonesia. May be they think about Europe, Japan and China. For example, why do you have to go to China for your auto spare parts? We have quality automotive products in Indonesia. You saw so many displayed at the exhibition hall. And we also explained the stuff the products are made of; including the advantage our products have over others during the first section of the seminar. We have quality auto batteries, tyres, filters, lubricants and others.

Indonesia investors are ready to come to Nigeria. But we want to ensure that these products are successful here. That is why we need partners in Nigeria. We are inviting Nigeria Investors to do business with us.

We need to find more prospective partners here in Nigeria. After attesting the quality of our products, we are open to collaboration, distribution and franchising.

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