Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Australian Government has welcomed the decision by Indonesia to delay the implementation of proposed quarantine arrangements which threaten to impede horticultural exports to the country, an Australian Embassy media release on Wednesday said.

It said the proposed amendments to Indonesia`s horticultural regulations would restrict access for exporters to Indonesian ports, including Jakarta`s main seaport of Tanjung Priok.

The Indonesian Government has announced that the amendments will now come into effect on 19 June 2012.

"Indonesia is important to Australia`s horticulture exporters," Australian Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson said.

"I am keen to work with our neighbor to ensure that we can meet the needs of exporters from Australia and other countries while respecting Indonesia`s desire to strengthen its quarantine regime and food safety requirements," Emerson added.

Australia assists Indonesia`s quarantine services through the $22 million Australia Indonesia Partnership for Emerging Infectious Diseases program, which is designed to support institutional strengthening of the Indonesian animal health system.

Australia has also provided support to Indonesia in the strengthening of its quarantine systems through a range of projects focused on avian influenza, emerging infectious diseases and pest analysis.

"Officials in Australia and in our Embassy in Jakarta have been working closely with Australian industry and Indonesian counterparts to ensure Australia`s high-quality and well-priced fruit and vegetable exports can continue to supply Indonesian households," Emerson said.

He added that Australia would continue to work with Indonesia on this issue over the coming months.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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