Indonesia: Import Regulation Reduces Chinese Imports

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: According to the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (Gapmmi), a government regulation contributed to the decline of food and beverage imports from China and Hong Kong between January and August.

The stipulation was cited in the Trade Minister Regulation no. 57/2010. ‘Particularly the restriction of certain imported products which controls incoming imported foods from China and Hong Kong more effectively,’ said Gapmmi secretary-general Franky Sibarani, yesterday.

For eight months, food and beverage imports from China and Hong Kong went down by 16.8 percent. This year’s import realization is US$22.1 million, a decrease compared to the same period last year which was $26.6 million. There was a corollary drop in total imports over the same time period.

Businessmen said they hoped the regulation could be maintained and supervision along the land and sea border areas would be intensified. ‘Illegal food and beverage products are still found in the provinces,’ said Franky.

Businessmen have reasons to be concerned, especially because the value of imported products from Malaysia continues to jump. Import realization from Malayisa reached $ 37.9 million or 24.3 percent of the total food imports, an increase compared to last year’s 17.5 percent.

The Industry Ministry’s agro beverage and tobacco industry directorate chief Enny Ratnaningtyas, said there was a decline in local food product absorption. ‘The decline is just a few percent, but it’s happened intensively since early this year,’ she said.

The ministry concluded the condition was due to pressures from food products entering Indonesia through Malaysia. ‘We believed these products came from China and entered through Malaysia because of the halal certification there, so it is easy to attract Indonesian consumers,’ she added.