Asoex has met with the Indonesian ambassador in Chile, Philemon Arobaya, to discuss measures to facilitate the entry of Chilean fruit into the Asian country. The negotiations centred on allowing shipments through the Port of Jakarta, which has been closed to Chilean fresh produce for almost four years, severely curtailing the industry’s competitiveness in that market.
“This meeting is one of the many efforts Asoex is making to achieve the reopening of the Port of Jakarta for the entry of our fresh fruit,” said Asoex president Ronald Bown. “Currently, our fruit exports to Indonesia are practically paralysed due to the closure of the port, which is unfortunate since it is a market that has grown significantly over the past three years, with shipments reaching 1.2m cartons worth US$30m FOB.”
The restriction was imposed because Indonesia does not acknowledge Chile as a fruit fly free country, even though it is internationally recognised as being free of the insect. This means that at present shipments are forced to enter the market via the port of Surabaya, which is 1,000km from Jakarta, which makes fruit from other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US cheaper and more attractive to importers.
Bown pointed out that in spite of there being recorded outbreaks of fruit fly in some of these other countries the Indonesian government had not withdrawn their status as being fruit fly free.
“Securing better entry conditions is essential if we are to continue to expand the presence of Chilean fruit in Asian markets, and in this meeting with the Indonesian ambassador to Chile we have raised this concern as an industry,” he said.
According to the latest Asoex figures, Indonesia imported a total of 3,766 tonnes of Chilean fruit in the 2013/14 season, including 3,756 tonnes of table grapes, 6 tonnes of blueberries and 4 tonnes of cherries.