Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Trade Ministry projects that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will become an export hub for Indonesian halal products and boost Indonesian halal exports.

"The Trade Ministry has entered the UAE market, which, we believe, can become an export hub for Indonesia's halal products to Middle Eastern and African countries," said Didi Sumedi, Director General of National Export Development at the ministry, on Tuesday.

He mentioned that Indonesia and the UAE have a comprehensive economic agreement, namely the Indonesia-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IUAE CEPA).

The ministry has also undertaken efforts to strengthen the exports of Indonesian halal products, including participating in exhibitions and trade missions abroad, he said.

"We, along with the KNEKS (National Committee for Islamic Economy and Finance), have implemented several initiatives to boost the export of halal products to the global market," Sumedi said.

He explained that these efforts have included opening market access, incubating businesses, providing funding, and supporting exporters.

He also explained that the Indonesian Retailer Business Forum held on Tuesday, which brought together retailers and the national halal cosmetics industry, aimed to reduce the imports of foreign products and promote local products among Indonesians.

"At the very least, our goal is to reduce the amount of imported products, and our people will have a better understanding of the quality of local products. This is what we will continue to strive for in the future," he emphasized.

He added that the forums also aimed to unite the efforts of business players in the field of halal cosmetics and retailers to reduce the trade deficit in the industry.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data, imports of cosmetics, essential oils, and chemically-prepared fragrance materials with the HS 33 code reached US$1.2 billion in 2022, surpassing the export value of those commodities, which reached US$826.7 million in the same year.

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Translator: Nabil Ihsan, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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