India raises concern to WTO  over trade barriers imposed by Indonesia

India has raised concerns at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over a host of trade barriers built in by Indonesia, including export restrictions on palm oil and import curbs on bovine meat and automotive (auto) parts, holding that such measures have adversely impacted India.

“India remains concerned with the Indonesian import substitution programme and export policies. Indonesia is maintaining a number of restrictions on imports, as well as exports, which is affecting Indian businesses — both in terms of exports, as well as supply-chain disruptions. We have raised the matter in the Committee on Market Access and the Council for Trade in Goods at the WTO,” said an official statement.

Indonesia last week banned the export of crude and refined palm oil amid global shortage of the edible oil after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After Malaysia, Indonesia is the second-largest source of palm oil for India.

India imported 42 per cent (or 3.4 million tonnes) of its total palm oil imports from Indonesia in 2021. Before the ban, Indonesia had put in place a high export duty and an export levy on palm oil, as well as adopted export-curbing procedures, pushing up the prices of palm oil and edible oils in India.

A delay in the issuance of horticultural product import recommendations for agricultural products like onion, potato, etc has also affected India’s exports. India has also asked Indonesia to lift restrictions on the export of ginger.  Indonesia has also reduced the annual quota on bovine meat import. There are port restrictions on such imports, leading to an increase in export cost. India exported bovine meat worth $262 million and vegetables worth $30 million in 2021.

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