Indonesia removes restriction on import of Pakistani kinnow

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Indonesia has announced to abolish quota system to enhance import of Kinnow from Pakistan while extending facilities on purchase agreement of Pakistani rice of 1000 million ton till year 2019, and also assured about flexibility in Rice exports tender by keeping the long transit time from Pakistan.

A meeting of Indonesia – Pakistan business forum was held during the visit of Indonesian President to Pakistan in which Pakistani business community was represented by the Vice President – FPCCI Waheed Ahmed.

The Vice President of Indonesian Federation of Chamber & Commerce and trade co-coordinator also participated in this meeting. Stressing the need for enhancing mutual trade and removal of trade barriers, the Indonesian minister of commerce Enggartiasto Lukita announced to abolish restriction of quota system for import of Pakistani Kinnow on impending demand of Pakistani exporters.

Representing Pakistani business community, Waheed Ahmed said that people –to people contact , direct flights options, banking facilities, exchange of trade delegations and organizing exhibitions would lead to enhancement of export from Pakistan to Indonesia upto US$ one billion within 2-3 years . Currently the trade between Pakistan & Indonesia is a US$ 2.1 billion, however the export from Pakistan is limited to US$ 138 million.

Cotton thread and Cotton are not part of Preferential trade agreement (PTA) and similarly the toughest quarantine requirements on Meat and meat products have also been imposed while condition of PRA for Pakistani mango has been introduced which is tedious and time consuming process.

Due to this reason Pakistan is not exporting mango to Indonesia. Welcoming the decision of removal of quota system on import of Pakistani Kinnow by Indonesia, he said that it would assist to attain balance of trade while immediate implementation of this decision would double the export of Pakistani Kinnow to Indonesia during the current session, Waheed anticipated.

With extension of this facility, the export of Kinnow to Indonesia would enhance from 34000 ton to 60,000 ton fetching valuable foreign exchange of US$ 33 million for the country. Waheed Ahmed apprised the Indonesian commerce minister that while Indonesia and Pakistan signed PTA in 2015 , it was assured by Indonesia that by year 2019 one million ton Pakistani rice would be imported , however due to unfavourble and unsuitable conditions In the tender , this volume could not be materialized.

Recently two Pakistani companies have acquired an order to export 60,000 ton of Pakistani rice to Indonesia through the process of bidding which was anticipated to generate foreign exchange of US$ 30 million but since the delivery time in this tender was unrealistic because long transit time was not taken into account which made it almost impossible for Pakistan to avail this unique trade opportunity.

The Indonesian commerce minister has assured to keep this important aspect of long transit time in view for future tenders. Waheed Ahmed emphasized that Indonesia shall set soft terms and condition for Pakistan for trade contract and tenders compared to it’s neighboring countries so that Pakistan can take advantage of trade opportunities available in the Indonesian market .

The Indonesian commerce minister has assured extending facilities to Pakistan in future tenders. Stressing the need for enhancing Tourism , technology and cooperation in Agriculture sectors of the two countries , he highlighted possibility of having joint ventures between the two countries and extended offer to the Indonesian investors to avail opportunities created as a result of CEPEC projects . It was also decided during the meeting to hold quarterly meeting meetings of Federation of chamber & commerce so that by eliminating trade barriers mutual trade and economic relationship can be further strengthen.