Lampung (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan is pushing for an increase in the exports of Indonesian horticultural products by providing assistance to entrepreneurs experiencing export-related problems in destination countries.

Hasan said he believes that increased exports will help the economy and improve the welfare of Indonesian farmers.

"The government, entrepreneurs, and people are one unity. If our farmers and entrepreneurs are successful, exports will increase, and it will be the success of the Trade Ministry as well," he added during a discussion with pineapple, banana, and coffee farmers in Lampung on Friday.

Therefore, increasing exports of horticultural products will increase the welfare of farmers, he added.

In Lampung, the minister also visited PT Great Giant Pineapple’s (PT GGP’s) factory to review the production and packaging processes of processed pineapple products.

PT GGP is the largest processed pineapple producer in the world and exports its products to almost all countries. Its daily production is pegged at 3 thousand tons, with the value of its exports reaching US$350 million per year.

Hasan said that companies like PT GGP must be assisted because of unfair treatment accorded to them in export destination countries.

It is the government's duty to help Indonesian companies in the export sector to erase barriers to exports in destination countries, including through trade agreements, he added.

"The government's task is to help the community and entrepreneurs to develop. If the companies are developed, the taxes will increase and absorb labor," he noted.

He said that his ministry will push for cooperation agreements with partner countries to increase the exports of horticultural products, including the one with the European Union through the acceleration of completion of the Indonesia–European Union Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (IEU CEPA).

"It is hoped that this trade negotiation will be completed in August. Once it is agreed, entrepreneurs will not have to pay import duties for horticultural products to the European Union," Hasan informed.

The minister said that pineapples and bananas are Indonesia's superior processed products that have high export value and global demand. The commodities have a broad impact on the national economy, especially in absorbing labor, increasing added value, and boosting the country's foreign exchange from exports.

Based on data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the total national pineapple production in 2021 reached 2.8 million tons. Lampung ranks first in Indonesia as a pineapple producer, with a total production of more than 700 thousand tons, followed by South Sumatra, Riau, Central Java, and West Java.

As for bananas, Lampung ranks third in Indonesia, with production reaching 1.12 million tons in 2021.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia G P, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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