Indonesia seeks import tariff relief for steel products to China

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sought import duty leniency for Indonesian steel products. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), Shanghai.

“During the seven-minute meeting, I conveyed the latest situation of export from Indonesia. I sought leniency or expungement of import duty imposed for Indonesian steel products, and President Xi said that he will consider this,” the minister noted in a statement here on Wednesday.

Pandjaitan is also optimistic of boosting Indonesia’s exports to the country, with a population of 1.4 billion.

Tropical fruits, swallow nest, and palm oil products are among the country’s exports, with potential to increase.

“We also offered downstream products, such as nickel ore, copper, tin, and bauxite. President Xi Jinping has pledged to increase investment in the technology sector,” he remarked.

Pandjaitan has also asserted Indonesia’s commitment to enhancing its regulation to offer legal certainty for investors.

CIIE is part of the Chinese government’s efforts to support trade liberalization and globalization and open its market to the world.

The expo is aimed at attracting international investors in the face of its trade war with the United States.

Pandjaitan affirmed that the import duty for steel products will burden Indonesia as a developing nation.

“Only Japan, South Korea, and Turkey have enjoyed exemption in import duty. As a developing country, this will be burdensome,” he stated.

Some 17 Indonesian companies participate in the CIIE held on November 5-10 and showcase various products comprising CPO, coffee, tea, swallow nest, various food and beverage products, spices, biofuel, and plastic ore.

China is the largest trade partner for Indonesia, with trade in 2018 totaling US$72.7 billion. Bilateral trade during the period from January to August 2019 had reached $45.9 billion.

Source: ANTARA News