ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Indonesia have signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on rice import.
The MoU was signed by Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Trikasih Lembong and Ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia Mohammad Aqil Nadeem, said a Pakistan Embassy’s message received here Wednesday.
Indonesian government will import up to 1 million metric tons of white rice from Pakistan from 2016 to 2019, which is estimated around 400 million dollars. The G2G agreement will be implemented by BULOG (State Logistics Agency) from Indonesia and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) from the Pakistani side.
The import of rice will help Indonesian government’s efforts to replenish the rice stocks in view of current rice shortage due to severe drought.
Indonesia has MoUs with Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar for rice imports already but Pakistan is the first country out of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to have such agreement with Indonesian government.
Both countries for the first time crossed $2.2 billion mark since the bilateral trade in the year 2014.
Pakistan and Indonesia have also concluded Preferential Trade Agreement in 2013 under which Indonesian exports to Pakistan increased manifold especially in crude palm oil.
This import agreement will also help in removing the trade imbalance between the two countries.
Pakistani exports of Kinnow to Indonesia had also seen increase in the recent years, due to PTA and Mutual Recognition Agreement signed in 2013 for trade of horticulture products. Under the PTA it is expected that the trade will also expand in other sectors.
News source: The Nation