China, Indonesia to Sign Fishery Trade Agreement
The Indonesian Embassy in Beijing on Sunday issued a statement announcing an upcoming bilateral marine agreement between China and Indonesia. Iwan Freddy Hadi Susanto, the first secretary of economic affairs at the embassy, announced that the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fishery delegates would travel to the Chinese capital for the signing next week.
Widi Agoes Pratikto, Indonesian secretary general of the Maritime and Fishery Ministry, says that Indonesia has been seeking certification and approvals from its trade partners in the fishery sector. The move is intended to increase host countries' confidence in Indonesian seafood products, as well as decrease losses from illegal poaching, reported at $269 million a year.
Pratikto added that the Ministry hoped certifications and approvals from trading partners would secure the already steady growth of Indonesian marine exports, which accounted for $2.1 billion in 2006, up from $1.6 billion in 2004.
The agreement could ease the relationship between China and Indonesia's marine sectors.
China has prohibited Indonesian marine imports since August 2007, when China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine found significant amounts of substandard Indonesian marine shipments. The ban has been temporarily lifted after a Chinese delegate's inspection trip to Indonesia in February.
In April, Indonesia confiscated six Chinese-flagged fishing vessels for illegal poaching in Indonesian waters.