Indonesia has now implemented zero tariffs on dates and olive oil from Palestine, as a continuous commitment to support the social and economic development of the Palestinian people.
By implementing this policy, Indonesians will be able to consume dates imported directly from Palestine during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the May-June. The tariff elimination is an important measure for the improvement of Indonesia-Palestine bilateral trade relations.
Zero tariffs on dates and olive oil from Palestine are expected to provide an alternative choice of more competitive sources for consumers and domestic industries in Indonesia.
"It is also expected to increase the competitiveness of Palestinian products," Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in a press release on Friday.
Lukita revealed that the provisions on the elimination of tariffs for the two Palestinian products had been active since February 21, 2019, marked by the sending of a diplomatic note by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Palestine.
The measure, announced in December last year, was initially slated to start in January 2019.
Data from Indonesia's Central Statistics Agency (BPS) shows the total trade between Indonesia and Palestine in 2018 reached US$3.5 million, consisting of Indonesia's exports of $2.8 million, an increase of 34 per cent compared to 2017 (YoY). Imports amounted to $727,000 , or an increase of 113 per cent (YoY).
Indonesian products exported to Palestine include extracts, essences, and coffee, tea concentrates; pasta; bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits and bakery equipment ; plates, bases and tools of retread rubber; and wood charcoal.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's main products imported from Palestine are fresh or dried dates and olive oil and other fractions of olives, as well as screws, bolts, nuts.