Businessmen Laud Govt's Plans to Halt Imports from EU



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Illustration of oil palm plantation. shutterstock

    Illustration of oil palm plantation. shutterstock

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaA number of business players under the Indonesian Vegetable Oil Refiners Association (GIMNI) have cheered on the government’s plans to redirect the country’s demand for airplanes from the European Union (Airbus) to the United States (Boeing).

    The move was apparent retaliation from the government to the EU’s imposing import duties of 18 percent on Indonesia’s biodiesel, which was viewed as the EU’s being discriminative against the country’s crude palm oil (CPO).

    Earlier, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito also redirected imports of alcoholic beverages, fruits and dairy products from the EU.

    GIMNI chairman Sahat Sinaga said the government’s decision was a positive message to national CPO business players. He said the EU’s import duties were similar to taxes levied during the nation’s colonial era--known as colonial taxes.

    “That is what we are against. Therefore, GIMNI is fully supportive of the government’s programs that seek to contest the discrimination,” he said on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.

    The chairman of the Biodiesel Producer Association, M.P. Tumanggor, suggested the government seek other commodities from Europe substitutable with those from other countries and not resort to any sort of retaliation that was against the WTO rules.

    “For example, perfumes of wines and milk that we need, we can get them from Australia or New Zealand,” he said.