India calls for the diversification of the export basket for sustainable trade with Indonesia

NEW DELHI: On Tuesday in India, it expressed concern about the expansion of the trade deficit with Indonesia and called for diversifying the export basket for sustainable trade. The issue was flagged by Commerce and Industry minister in his meeting with Indonesia n minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita here.

Goyal raised concerns about India's trade deficit with Indonesia which stood at $ 10.57 billion in India's trade deficit with Indonesia during 2018-19, the commerce ministry said in a statement.

I have said the balance of trade is heavily in favor of Indonesia and both countries need to work towards establishing sustainable trade by diversifying the export basket.

There is considerable potential to expand trade in the agricultural, automotive, engineering, IT, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health sectors, he added.

With a bilateral trade of $ 21.13 billion in 2018-19, Indonesia has emerged as the second-largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region after Singapore .

Goyal also highlighted India's concern on the import quota restrictions faced by Indian automobile and automobile component industries in Indonesia on completely built-up units (CBU) and tires.

These restricted import quota by Indonesia for Indian vehicles in CBU condition has adversely impacted Indian exports. Long lead time taken for regulatory certification for new vehicles also affect launch of new products, he said.

I have added that Indonesia adopts standards for emission which is not commensurate with the global emissions norms for fuel efficiency in automobiles.

In addition, other competitors have a better market access advantage over Indian car manufacturers due to bilateral free trade agreements.

Indonesia n minister assured Piyush Goyal that he would address this gap, the ministry said.

The minister requested the Indonesia n side to allow Indian-origin Frozen Halal Buffalo Meet (FHBM) free and directly to importers or distributors of Indonesia through various important ports, without quotas and restrictions.

The Indonesia n side assured that there will be no quota restrictions from authorized exporters as long as quality is maintained.

India also sought greater market access for agricultural products such as muskmelon, bitter gourd, grapes, pumpkin and dairy products.

The Indonesia n side assured India that it will facilitate sourcing from New Delhi by reducing tariffs and regularizing standards as per India's requirement.

On the other hand, Indonesia n side requested for parity on duty with Malaysian exports of refined palm oil with India where it is currently suffering 5 per cent disadvantage.

The Minister of Commerce of India assured that he will address this issue with the ministry in question.