New Delhi [India]: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal held a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita here on Tuesday and agreed to work towards sustainable trade.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Troika Meeting with ASEAN Trade Ministers.
In the meeting, Goyal raised concerns about India’s trade deficit with Indonesia that stood at USD 10.57 billion in the financial year 2018-19. He said that the balance of trade is heavily in favour of Indonesia and both countries need to work towards establishing sustainable trade by diversifying the export basket.
Goyal also said that there is considerable potential for expanding trade in agricultural, automobiles, engineering products, IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and healthcare sectors. With a bilateral trade of USD 21.13 billion in 2018-19, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region after Singapore, he noted.
Goyal further 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 restricted import quota prescribed by Indonesia for Indian vehicles in CBU condition has adversely impacted Indian exports.
Goyal requested the Indonesian side to allow the import of Indian frozen halal buffalo meat through various ports, without quotas and restrictions. On their part, the Indonesian side assured that there will be no quota restrictions from authorised exporters as long as the quality is maintained.
He also requested his counterparts for more market access for India’s agricultural products like musk melon, bitter gourd, grapes, pumpkin, and milk products, which is pending with Indonesia.
The Indonesian side also assured India that it will facilitate the sourcing of sugar from India by reducing tariffs and regularising standards as per India’s requirement.
The Indonesian side also requested for parity on duty with Malaysian exports of refined palm oil with India where it is currently suffering five per cent disadvantage.
Piyush Goyal said that India is looking forward to enhanced bilateral engagement with Indonesia and requested Indonesia for holding the next India Indonesia Biennial Trade Ministers’ Forum Meeting (BTMF) at Jakarta at the earliest.