TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo discussed Indonesia`s abundance of rice with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on November 22 in Kuching, Malaysia. Jokowi is hopeful that 20 percent of Malaysia’s rice imports in 2018 come from Indonesia.
“The President was asking for an [import] quota to the Malaysian PM of 20 percent of [rice] exports to the country. The calculation is based on total [Malaysia’s] import of 150,000 tons,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said yesterday at his office in Central Jakarta.
Indonesia started exporting rice to Malaysia in October 2017 as many as 25,000 tons. Enggar, however, did not name the types of rice to be exported to Malaysia next year.
“There’s a high possibility that it’ll be premium [rice] but the types and prices will depend on the demand. One thing’s for sure: we have conveyed the Agriculture Minister’s projection of Indonesia’s oversupply. So we are asking for a quota first and foremost,” he noted.
Enggar, who accompanied Jokowi during the bilateral meeting, said that the two nations have agreed to step up trade. The trade volume Indonesia and Malaysia rose by over 21 percent in the first half this year.
They also discussed cross-border regulation. “We expect the signing of a Border Crossing Agreement. After that, we can draw up a Border Trade Agreement,” he said.
Indonesia and Malaysia also strengthen partnership on oil palm through the establishment of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC). In November, Indonesia agrees to become the host of the CPOPC ministerial meeting that invites oil palm producing countries. “We agree to take strategic steps to face the black campaign against oil palm,” he said.
Jokowi visited Kuching to attend the 12th Annual Consultation.