Thais, Indonesia seek deal

Thais, Indonesia seek deal

Two countries step up bilateral trade

Mr Sansern (right) meets with Ahmad Rusdi, the ambassador of Indonesia to Thailand, to discuss trade. (Government House photo)
Mr Sansern (right) meets with Ahmad Rusdi, the ambassador of Indonesia to Thailand, to discuss trade. (Government House photo)

Thailand and Indonesia have vowed to tighten bilateral trade cooperation to rehabilitate both economies following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sansern Samalapa, vice-minister of commerce, recently met Ahmad Rusdi, the ambassador of Indonesia to Thailand, with both parties agreeing to stress bilateral cooperation to help reboot the virus-hit economies of the two countries.

Thailand has called on Indonesia to facilitate the import licensing procedure, especially for longan, as such processes remain relatively slow and only a handful of importers are permitted, he said.

Mr Sansern said Indonesia has extended its import relaxations for garlic and brown onions for an indefinite period.

On March 19, Indonesia announced it was lifting the import licence requirement for garlic and brown onions to counter a domestic shortage.

The period ran until May 31 this year.

He said Thailand and Indonesia have discussed beefing up cooperation on bilateral online trading, which has grown rapidly during the outbreak.

Indonesia is Thailand's fourth-largest trading partner in Asean following Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, and the seventh-largest trading partner in the world.

Two-way trade between Indonesia and Thailand amounted to US$16.3 billion last year, with exports from Thailand accounting for $9.09 billion and imports worth $7.23 billion.

Deputy Commerce Minister Weerasak Wamgsuphakijkosol said earlier he ordered the Trade Negotiations Department to closely observe global trade measures during the coronavirus pandemic to seek markets for Thai agricultural products, a move that aims to increase the income of Thai farmers and related entrepreneurs.

Many countries have applied export quotas on food, face masks and medical supplies to prevent domestic shortages, while forgoing import tariffs on products that face shortages.

For example, Mr Weerasak said the US is lifting the import tariff on medical supplies for virus prevention from China and the import ban on rubber gloves from Malaysia.

Brunei, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, the EU, Hong Kong and Russia have eliminated the import tariff on personal protective equipment, face masks and medical supplies for coronavirus treatment.

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