New Delhi, Jul 9: Raising concerns about India’s trade deficit with Indonesia, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday that the balance of trade was heavily in favour of the Southeast Asian nation and both countries needed to work towards establishing sustainable trade by diversifying the export basket.
Goyal held a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita here on the sidelines of Troika Meeting with ASEAN Trade Ministers.
He raised concerns about India’s trade deficit with Indonesia which stood at $10.57 billion in India’s trade deficit with Indonesia during 2018-19.
The Minister said there was considerable potential for expanding trade in agricultural, automobiles, engineering products, IT, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology and healthcare sectors, according to an official statement.
With a bilateral trade of $ 21.13 billion in 2018-19, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region after Singapore.
Goyal highlighted India’s concern on the import quota restrictions faced by Indian auto and auto component industries in Indonesia on completely built up units (CBU) and tyres. These had adversely impacted Indian exports. Long lead time taken for regulatory certification for new vehicles also affected launch of new products. Indonesia adopts standards for emission which is not commensurate with the global norms.
The Indonesian Minister assured Goyal that he would address this gap.
Goyal requested the Indonesian side to allow Indian Origin Frozen Halal Buffalo Meet (FHBM) free and directly to importers/ distributors of Indonesia through various important ports, without quotas and restrictions. The Indonesian side assured that there would be no quota restrictions from authorised exporters as long as quality was maintained.
Goyal reiterated the potential for enhanced cooperation on health and pharma sector. The Indonesian Trade Minister promised to take up the issue with Indonesian importers to source high quality and cost effective pharma products from India.
Indonesia has imported pharma products worth $ 990 million and India’s share in their import was only $75 million.
Goyal also requested the Indonesian side for more market access for India’s agricultural products like musk melon, bitter gourd, grapes, pumpkin and milk products, pending with Indonesia.
He wanted Indonesia to grant country recognition to India for export of agricultural products under the new Fresh Food of Plant Origin (FFPO) regulation of Indonesia. Indonesia’s new Fresh Food of Plant Origin (FFPO) regulation introduced from February, 17, 2016, is a technical barrier which restricts exports from India. (UNI)