Ambassador of Indonesia to Qatar, Muhammad Basri Sidehabi, has said over 27,000 Indonesian expatriates in Qatar are contributing to the development of Qatar.
“Over 27,000 Indonesian people are living in Qatar and they started work-related migration to Qatar when the country started exporting LNG in 1996-97,” said Muhammad Basri Sidehabi.
The Ambassador said that among 27,350 Indonesians in Qatar, there were around 5,505 families; 15,649 domestic workers and 22 students.
To a question on life in Qatar and how it was different to life in Indonesia, Basri Sidehabi said: “When Qatar started exporting LNG in 1996, many Indonesian migrant workers came here to start a new job or business. The feel living and working in Qatar comfortable. There are many Indonesian migrant workers who are working here for over two decades contributing to the development of Qatar.”
In an interview with The Peninsula, he said that Indonesian migrant workers were working in almost all economic sectors in Qatar ranging from oil and gas, telecommunications, transportation, construction, health, agriculture, banking, trade, industry, and domestic.
On Qatar-Indonesia bilateral ties, he noted that bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries had strengthened and developed in all fields with time for the benefit of the two countries. “The efforts towards increasing relations between the two countries will continue through the exchange of visits of high-ranking officials from both the countries.”
At international forums, he said, the two countries share common views on several regional and international issues. “Both the countries are strengthening their relations and friendship through mutual support in the nomination of international organizations/bodies,” he added.
The Ambassador said that the bilateral trade volume was over $36m (January 2019). “Indonesia imports crude oil / LNG / LPG products; additives for petroleum products and its derivatives; mineral resources and its derivatives; chemical & polyethylene; aluminum and steel from Qatar.”
“Qatar imports car tires and tubes; car batteries; automotive spare parts; stationery; books & photocopy paper; wood & furniture; charcoal & briquette; processed food; fresh fruits & vegetables etc. from Indonesia,” he added.