Jakarta, August 30, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pak-Indonesia Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) will become operational from September 1st, 2013, creating new opportunities for mutually beneficial exploitation of the huge trade potential that happily marks the historically friendly relations between the two countries.
The last hurdle in the actualization of the PTA was affectively removed by the signing of Mutual Recognition Agreement on Plant Quarantine and SPS Measures today in Jakarta by Ambassador Sanaullah and Head of Indonesian Agricultural Quarantine Agency (IAQA) Mrs. Banun Harpini.
A special meeting was arranged by the Ministry of Agriculture to hold the signing ceremony. Officials from different Indonesian Departments were invited to witness the event. It may be noted that Indonesia has signed MRA with only USA, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Canada. From South Asia, Africa, Europe and Middle East, Pakistan has become the first and the only country which will be able to export its fruit to Indonesia without subjecting it to Indonesian Quarantine Rules and Regulations.
Addressing the gathering, Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Burhan Muhammad who specially flew to Jakarta to oversee finalization of the PTA, said that “by signing MRA and awarding Pest Free Area Recognition Certificate for Pakistan Kinnow, allowing entry through Tanjung Priok Port of Jakarta, Indonesia has removed all impediments in effective implementation of IP-PTA from 1st Sept 2013. This will enhance bilateral trade between the two countries. Although, this year has almost passed, he believed that the bilateral trade may reach US $ 2 billion mark.
Indonesia values her relationship with Pakistan. “From here, we are ready to start negotiations for IP-FTA covering not only goods but opening cooperation in investment, services, energy sector, tourism and Islamic banking too” he added.
Ambassador Sanaullah expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian Minister for Trade, Mr. Gita Wirjawan for his personal commitment to remove all Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), which blocked the operationalization of IP-PTA already signed in February, 2012. He also thanked the Indonesian Quarantine Agency for arranging speedy field verification of Kinnow archids in Pakistan, which led to signing of Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) today.
The Ambassador further said that the trade potential between the two countries is huge and is likely to increase further, keeping in view the swelling middle class in both countries. Also, the Ambassador pointed out that for certain Indonesian products like Palm Oil, Pakistan could serve as an entry point to Central Asian Republics and western China. Indonesian would not only be catering a market of 180 million people, but consumers from at least six other countries including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republics, Kazakhstan and China.
Ambassador further said that Pakistan’s need for Palm Oil, Pulp and Paper and Rubber are strategic and is not likely to decline. Indonesian business should focus on our market from this angle as well. Mutually beneficial trade can multiple after it is made people centric and the business community of the two countries are felicitated to meet each other frequently.
The Director General, Mrs. Banun Sri Harpini of Indonesian Agricultural Quarantine Agency confirmed that Pakistani Kinnow and other agricultural products would be allowed to enter the Indonesian market through Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta. She said that the signing of MRA was part of the commitment made by the two countries during the visit of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Pakistan in 2005. She expects that because of MRA and PTA, the bilateral trade has the capacity to reach US$ 5.5 billion by end of 2014.
Earlier, Director General Mr. Imam Pambagyo of Ministry of Trade held an exclusive meeting with the Ambassadors from Pakistan and Indonesia and explained the priority of his government to do more trade and establish mutually beneficial joint ventures. The Director General was assured that Pakistan attached priority to Indonesia and all efforts would be made to deepen and broaden cooperation in trade, development projects and promotion of investment.
As per the MRA, Pakistani Kinnow would be able to land in Jakarta without undergoing SPS standards and inspections. In simple words it means that Pakistan would be able to have a longer shelf life for its agricultural products and cheaper costs by avoiding entry through Surabaya. The export of Kinnow, which ranges between US$ 4 to 5 million, is likely to get a boost with the Country Recognition and MRA. Other Agricultural products which can benefit from this Agreement include Pears, Apples, Apricots and dry nuts.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326