The products can also be marketed to South Asian countries.
Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The African region has the potential to become a new market for products made by Indonesian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said here on Friday.

He made the remarks in response to the implementation of the new European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR), which is expected to make it difficult for Indonesian farmers and small entrepreneurs to export their products to European countries.

"If it is becoming more difficult to export our products to Western countries, currently, there are many emerging markets, which can be the export target for our MSME products, such as African countries," he said at the 2023 Bhinneka Culture Festival.

Currently, there are many trading opportunities in African countries, whose population is expected to reach 1.4 billion in 2023, based on the latest projections of the United Nations, he highlighted.

The minister further noted that Indonesian MSME products will be suitable for African people and the prices of the products will be acceptable in the African market.

"The products can also be marketed to South Asian countries,” he further suggested.

The population of the South Asian region has almost reached 2 billion, he pointed out.

According to the World Bank, the region had a total population of 1.9 billion in 2021, owing to the large populations of India (1.41 billion), Pakistan (231.4 million), and Bangladesh (169.4 million).

Hasan met the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament on Wednesday (June 21, 2023) to discuss the progress of the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA) negotiations.

At the meeting, he conveyed his objection to the implementation of the EUDR.

He said that the regulation is quite unfair and discriminatory for Indonesia, as the country’s forestry products and their derivatives, such as coffee, palm oil, and pepper, will be required to be certified for export to Europe.

Indonesia has never made it difficult for European countries to market their products, including wine, cheese, vehicles, and textiles, in Indonesia, the minister underlined.

He noted that small entrepreneurs will not find the certification requirement easy to fulfill.

"Thus, I asked the (European Parliament) to cancel (the EUDR), although it is unlikely,” he added.

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Translator: Ni Muliantari, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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