The Nation



Indonesia raises agricultural import quotas

Thai agricultural products - mainly fruits and vegetables including red onion - will have greater opportunities to access the Indonesian market after the country raised its import quotas for goods from Thailand and other countries.

On March 15, Indonesia announced its import quotas for the first half of this year. It will allow import of 60,000 tonnes of red onion (or about 2,142 containers), of which Thailand should be able to gain the largest quota allocation.

Pranee Siriphand, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said Thai red onion producers should have more opportunities to access the Indonesian market as a result of the move.

Along with India and the Philippines, Thailand is one of three major red-onion exporters to Indonesia. Of the Kingdom's total exports of red onion, worth Bt500 million, 77 per cent goes to Indonesia.

To ensure export growth, the department advised Thai exporters to apply soon for import approval from Indonesia's Trade Ministry.

So far, four or five major Indonesian importers have declared their intention to import about 6,000 tonnes of red onion from Thailand.

In addition, Thailand is seeking greater import opportunities for Thai fruits, mainly durian and longan.

The department and the Agriculture Ministry are asking Indonesia to enter a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) allowing import of Thai agricultural products that have been accepted under international standards to the Ta Jung Priok Port in Jakarta. The MRA will help reduce logistic costs and shipping distance to other ports in Indonesia.

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