"The main hindrance for our halal export to OIC member countries was the high duties imposed by 57 countries. We can see that the high export duties have made it difficult for us to compete with other countries," Arlinda said here Monday.
Indonesia has a huge potential of halal exports including food products, medicines, cosmetics, and Muslim garments that has yet to be fully explored, she stressed.
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Arlinda quoted the example of Egypt that imposed 60 percent duties on products from Indonesia.
Therefore, the government needs to negotiate with OIC member countries for a lower tariff through the signing of trade agreements, she remarked.
Currently, negotiations are still on for trade agreements with Iran under the Indonesia-Iran PTA, Turkey (Indonesia-Turkey CEPA), Tunisia (Indonesia-Tunisia PTA), Pakistan (Indonesia-Pakistan TIGA), and Bangladesh (Indonesia-Bangladesh PTA).
"Some countries have the potential, most are Muslim majority countries. Then there are Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait," Arlinda said.
Data from the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) revealed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of OIC countries was recorded at US$15.8 trillion in 2013, which increased to $19.4 trillion in 2017 with the economy growing at 4.1 percent.
This reflected the growing economy of OIC members, despite the increasing prices of some commodities and the sluggish world economy.
Indonesia's halal export to OIC countries in 2018 was recorded at $45 billion or 12.5 percent of the national trade value that has reached $369 billion. (INE)
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