Jakarta - Indonesia has asked Canada to widen its market for the country`s agricultural products.
Indonesia`s Agriculture Minister Suswono made the request at a meeting with visiting Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Food Gerry Ritz at the former`s office here on Monday.
Suswono said Indonesia has so far exported agricultural products such as coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and canned fruit to that country.
Canada`s exports to Indonesia meanwhile consist of meat, cherry fruit, wheat flour, animal feed, vegetable oils and potato seeds. Canada has so far enjoyed a surplus in its trade with Indonesia.
"In view of that Indonesia wishes Canada would not only import coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and canned fruit but also other commodities such as rubber, palmoil, tropical fruits, medical herb products and others," he said.
He said Indonesia also hoped for an easier access to both countries` markets to promote direct trade between the two countries.
During the meeting they also signed a Letter of Intent for cooperation in the field of agriculture covering production, processing, exploitation, animal husbandry, agricultural research including bio-technology and genetical engineering.
"The LOI will later be followed up with a Memorandum of Understanding and the establishment of a working group and scheduled action plans," he said.
Suswono said Canada is one of the countries potential for cooperation in the agricultual sector as its produce include wheat, corn, vegetables, flowers, potato, soybeans and tobacco. That country also produces cattles, sheep and chickens.
The main obstacle in the development of bilateral trade between the two countries so far is that Indonesia`s exports have so far still been done through a third party such as the US, Singapore and China Taipei.
Indonesia`s strong competitors include countries in the Central and South America, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, India, the US, Pakistan and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and even Canada itself.
"No forum is also available yet for the two countries to be able to sit and discuss efforts to increase bilateral cooperation between the two countries," he said. (Source: Antara121010)