Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Madagascar government has decided not to impose safeguard measures on imports of edible vegetable oils and margarine, including those from Indonesia.
“The decision not to impose safeguard measures on vegetable oils and margarine could raise the competitiveness of Indonesia’s vegetable oil and margarine products in Madagascar,” Indonesian Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi said in a statement received here on Saturday (May 3).
The decision from the Madagascar government, he said, reflects that if the safeguard measures are imposed on vegetable oil and margarine products, it would make the availability of these products difficult in the southern African island nation.
The decision was contained in a notification by the Madagascar government to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on December 17, 2021.
Earlier on August 14, 2019, the government initiated an investigation on safeguard measures for vegetable oil and margarine products.
Lutfi added that Indonesia is one of the main exporters of these products to Madagascar. Vegetable oil and margarine products from Indonesia have even become the main preferences of Madagascar’s people.
“Access to quality vegetable oil and margarine products is an essential factor indicating that the people of Madagascar need support for the availability of these products,” the minister said.
According to Acting Director General of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Trade Veri Anggriono Sutiarto, not imposing safeguard measures for a product would has strong competitiveness in export destination countries.
Indonesia could take advantage of this policy because the archipelagic country’s products have strong competitiveness in Madagascar’s market, Veri said.
The Statistics Indonesia (BPS) shows that the total trade between Indonesia and Madagascar has increased in recent years. In 2021 the total trade between the two countries increased to 100.68 million U.S. dollars from 72.10 million dollars in 2020.
In the January–March 2022 period, the trade between the two countries reached 67.48 million dollars compared to the same period in 2021 which was recorded at 21.31 million dollars.
Reporting by Indonesia Window