Wellington, New Zealand (ANTARA) - Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin stated that cooperation between Indonesia and New Zealand in halal-certified beef and lamb trade is an opportunity to boost the trade balance between both nations.

"Recently, there has been a decline (in the trade balance). We need to make efforts in order to build mutually beneficial trade relations between the two countries," Amin stated in a press conference after a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters at New Zealand's Parliament Building on Wednesday.

The trade balance between Indonesia and New Zealand experienced a downward trend of 18.82 percent, from US$2,128.7 million in 2022 to US$1,728 million in 2023.

During the meeting, the vice president also highlighted halal-certified beef and lamb commodities from New Zealand as an opportunity to boost trade balance between the two countries.

"New Zealand is a large producer of beef and lamb and an exporter of halal lamb that has received halal certification recognition from the Indonesian halal certification agency," he noted.

He then urged Deputy PM Peters to re-organize this potential in order to increase trade transactions.

The New Zealand Meat Industry Association informed that live livestock exports by sea represent around 0.2 percent of New Zealand's primary sector export earnings since 2015, with average earnings of around US$42.32 million per year from 2015 to 2019. Last year, the country was able to export 113,285 cattle by sea.

Amin's meeting with Peters on Wednesday is part of the agenda for the honorary visit of Indonesia's vice president with Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in the same building on February 27. The two parties discussed efforts to improve cooperative relations, especially in the trade sector.

The meeting ended with a lunch agenda between New Zealand's officials and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin and his entourage in the same building.

The vice president was accompanied by Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Fientje Maritje S, Head of the Vice Presidential Secretariat Ahmad Erani Yustika, Director General of Asia Pacific and Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abdul Kadir Jailani, Deputy for Administration of the Vice Presidential Secretariat Sapto Harjono Wahjoe Sedjati, Special Staff to the Vice President for Reform and Bureaucracy Mohamad Nasir, Special Staff to the Vice President for Communication and Information Masduki Baidlowi, and Indonesian Embassy Coordinator Lucky Saud.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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