Indonesian import measures take toll on Thai fruits

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Thailand has been impacted by Indonesia’s import restrictions on fruit following a free-trade agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and China.

Minister Counselor Vilasinee Nonsrichai of the Trade Negotiations Department’s Commercial Affairs Office in Jakarta said the Thai market in Indonesia has been heavily impacted by fruit imports from China, for their prices are cheaper than those in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government therefore set up non-tariff barriers such as reducing the number of ports for ships importing agricultural products, quality control, licensing, and quotas.

As a result, Thai fruits usually imported to the country, particularly durian and longan, are also impacted by the measures.

Thai Finance Ministry permanent-secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom, meanwhile, said he believed that Thai exports might not be able to grow 10 percent as expected by the government. It thus should find new markets for Thai entrepreneurs as well as penetrate European secondary markets instead of focusing only on primary markets.