ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Indonesia yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice import from Pakistan. The MoU was signed by Indonesian Trade Minister Mr. Thomas Trikasih Lembong and Ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia Mr. Mohammad Aqil Nadeem. Indonesian government will import upto 1 million metric ton of white rice from Pakistan from 2016 to 2019, which is estimated around 400 million USD. The G2G agreement will be implemented by BULOG (State Logistics Agency) from Indonesia and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) from the Pakistani side. The import of rice will help Indonesian government’s efforts to replenish the rice stocks in view of current rice shortage due to severe drought, says a press release received here today from Indonesia.
Indonesia has MoUs with Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar for rice imports already. Pakistan is the first country out of ASEAN region to have such agreement with Indonesian government. Both countries for the first time crossed US$ 2.2 billion mark of bilateral trade in year 2014. Pakistan and Indonesia have also concluded Preferential Trade Agreement in 2013 under which Indonesian exports to Pakistan increased manifold especially in crude palm oil. This import agreement will also help in removing the trade imbalance between the two countries. Pakistani exports of Kinnow to Indonesia have also seen increase in recent years, due to PTA and Mutual Recognition Agreement signed in 2013 for trade of horticulture products. Under the PTA it is expected that the trade will also expand in other sectors. Special Correspondent