However, as there is “no logistically convenient” or “cheap way” of transporting goods at the moment, trade between the two countries remains limited.

Currently, the most convenient logistic route is a multi-model scheme, which involves transporting goods by railway to a port at Lianyungang in China’s Jiangsu Province, and then continuing on to Indonesia by sea.

Orazbay said this is was one concrete step taken to address the issue of logistics, along with other efforts “to make our mutual trade more practical and realistic.”

While the Indonesian and Kazakh aviation authorities have signed a memorandum of understanding providing a legal basis for direct flights between the two states in 2014, neither country’s national flag carrier has established the link due to a lack of passengers.

“At this point, there are not enough passengers between our countries,” the ambassador said.

However, he added that with Bali becoming an increasingly more popular destination for Kazakhs, direct flights between the two countries may well be established soon.

Indonesians still require visas to enter Kazakhstan, but Orazbay said the process to change this has started.

Although the issue of illegal migrants is very sensitive to the Central Asian nation, given the fact that it is a landlocked country, there is still hope that Indonesians might be granted visa-free access.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla visited Kazakhstan in September to meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, chairman of the country’s Senate.

Orazbay pointed out that bilateral relations between Indonesia and Kazakhstan have seen improvement over the years, including high-level visits that have taken place in the past year and an upcoming session of a joint commission on economic cooperation, set to take place in Astana next year.

The ambassador emphasized that Indonesia and Kazakhstan should have more interaction and a larger trade volume, despite the challenges, especially because both countries are economic leaders in their respective regions.

Courtesy of Jakarta Globe