Indonesia approves higher quota for Thai vegetable, fruit imports

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BANGKOK, Feb 28 – The Indonesian government will soon announce an additional quota of Thai vegetable and fruit imports, according to the Thai Foreign Trade Department.

Foreign Trade Department deputy director-general Surasak Riengkrua said the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry will soon announce its approval of higher quotas for goods from importers who had submitted the approval request at the end of January.

According to Mr Surasak, Thailand will definitely be granted import quota for shallots and longan; so he asked Thai entrepreneurs to prepare to export such products.

However, fresh durian imports to Indonesia will still be temporarily prohibited, for Indonesian durian is currently on the market there.

Representatives of the Foreign Trade Department go to Jakarta this week to meet with officials responsible for Indonesia’s fruit imports in order to immediately tackle the problems facing Thai exporters and push for Thai fruit to be allowed to be sold in the Indonesian market.

Recently, the Indonesia announced protectionist measures prohibiting the imports of 13 types of vegetables and fruit, of which shallot, longan and durian were included, from other countries between January-June this year.

However, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said he will meet his Indonesian counterpart at a bilateral level again in Vietnam next week on Thai durian exports as the next ASEAN ministerial meeting on trade is being held there.

Mr Boonsong will ask Indonesia to consider a quota for Thai durian at an higher level, for it is popular among Indonesian consumers due to its good taste and quality, and the harvest seasons of Thai and Indonesian durian are different.

Meanwhile, Thai entrepreneurs are advised to export processed durian instead, as it is not listed under Indonesian protectionism measures.

Mr Surasak said Thailand exported 36,000 tonnes of shallots worth Bt417 million ro Indonesia last year. Almost 120,000 tonnes of longan worth Bt2.6 billion were shipped there last year, while 18,000 tonnes of fresh durian valued at Bt420 million were shipped. (