EXPORTING of fresh fruits from the Philippines to Indonesia through the Davao-General Santos City-Bitung roll-on roll-off (Roro) connectivity is still under seasonal permits and is still being worked out by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said Indonesia is allowing the importation of fresh fruits from the Philippines but these goods will be under stricter and seasonal cases only. He said they realize Mindanao as the fruit basket of the Philippines and the agricultural products are one of the major products of the region.
“We’re still working on the opening of fresh fruits for export from the Philippines to Indonesia. They allow it but releasing of permits is seasonal. That’s why that is what we are working out now, to open the market further for fruits and processed fruits which have higher value added. This is what we’re pushing for in DTI,” said Lopez.
Right now, he said, Indonesia receives processed fruits such as Cavendish chips, which is a more value-adding product.
He added the tariff rates for specific products have gone low and Indonesia already allows import of electronic gadgets, garments, and other food products from the Philippines.
Fresh fruits currently needs sanitary and imports permits, which according to Lopez, they are working out to be liberalized. (JPA)