Jakarta (ANTARA) – Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan appealed to the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) to facilitate access for Indonesian products to penetrate Saudi Arabia’s markets.
Minister Hasan made the request during his meeting with Executive President of SFDA Hisham bin Saad Al-Jadhey in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, local time.
“I expect SFDA to follow up some items that have become Indonesia’s concern in order to facilitate the registration process of Indonesian products in Saudi Arabia, so Indonesian products can be consumed by Hajj pilgrims, particularly Hajj pilgrims from Indonesia,” the minister noted in a written statement received here on Wednesday.
The two met to boost Indonesian exports to Saudi Arabia as well as address some issues that that could potentially impede the initiative.
He urged SFDA to be able to facilitate access for Indonesian products, such as processed foods, fisheries products, poultry, and meat, as well as discuss about cooperation in the certification of halal products.
Indonesia has exported poultry and meat to Japan, Singapore, Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea. It also exports fisheries products to the United States, China, Japan, Swiss, Norway, Iceland, and some more countries.
“I urge SFDA to conduct technical meeting to push for the registration process of Indonesian products and pursue discussion in terms of cooperation for halal products, so that Indonesian products, particularly agricultural and fisheries products from Indonesia, can penetrate Saudi Arabia markets,” he emphasized.
The minister believed that bilateral relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia would improve, as it was supported by the plan to formulate a trade agreement between Indonesia and Gulf Cooperation Council, in which Saudi Arabia was a member.
Al-Jadhey noted in the meeting that Indonesia was the largest Muslim country in the world, and bilateral relations between both nations were quite strong.
Saudi Arabia has set certain standards for some products, and Indonesia has high-quality products to offer. To this end, SFDA believes that Indonesian products could be accepted in Saudi Arabian markets. They will strive to facilitate Indonesian products, so they can be marketed in the middle eastern country.
“For Indonesian products’ registration, particularly fisheries products, poultry, meat, and cooperation in halal aspects, we will immediately follow up on (those matters). We will conduct technical meeting with partners in Indonesia to discuss about the registration process, including on fees, as well as discussion about halal (certifications), so Indonesian products can get into Saudi Arabia’s markets immediately,” he affirmed.
He expects the two countries’ bilateral relations to grow stronger, as there were still several potential areas for collaboration that the two could explore together.