ISLAMABAD: Indonesia is likely to impose a ban on the import of Pakistani Kinnows with effect from January 2016.
According to sources, Indonesian importers have already informed Pakistani exporters about the possible ban.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Indonesia Mohammad Aqil Nadeem has written a letter to the Indonesian Trade Minister on November 18, requesting him not to impose the sanction.
“The meagre export of $21 million is now under threat as well as our exporters have been informed by Indonesian importers and the Indonesian Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Importers and Exporters Association (ASSIEBESSINDO) about the possible ban,” said the letter.
“This decision, if implemented, will put a ban on the meagre export of Kinnows to Indonesia,” the ambassador added.
Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia reached a high of $2.2 billion in 2014, but it has been heavily in Indonesia’s favour.
The letter also stated that under the Indonesia-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Indonesia has provided concession to Pakistan’s Kinnow ‘mandarin’ and allowed entry to Tanjung Priok Port of Jakarta, in return for tariff concession provided by Pakistan on import of Indonesian palm oil.
“Pakistan’s Kinnows are available for exports in December till April every year; thus the availability is only for five months,” it added.
The ambassador, in the letter, appreciated the Indonesian Ministry’s instrumental role in improving trade relations between the two countries, but the recent impediment was against the spirit of bringing a balance of trade.
According to the letter, the imbalance of trade was noted by the Indonesian minister himself in a meeting held on October 9, 2015, and he ensured that efforts would be made to provide opportunities to enhance Pakistan’s exports.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani business community also expressed serious concerns and requested the government to take immediate steps in that regard.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.