Indonesia has asked Japan to remove import duty for fisheries products, Minister of Marine and Fisheries Susi Pudjiatuti stated.

"Please consider remove import duty for Indonesia, as we are still subjected to a 7 percent import duty," she noted on a statement received by Antara News Agency in Jakarta on Friday.

Japan should grant free import duty for Indonesia`s fisheries product, such as given to Thailand and Vietnam, as it causes Indonesia lose in competitiveness with the two neighboring states, Minister Pudjiatuti pointed out during a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Tokyo on May 30.

Pudjiastuti emphasized that Indonesia is fit to be granted with free import duty for its continuously and intensively effort in countering illegal fishing than the other two countries.

By granting free import duty, Indonesia and Japan will get mutual benefit as many Japanese business people invest in Indonesia`s fisheries industry.

In regards to the request, Minister Kono said that Japan currently has been reviewing bilateral trade policies with Indonesia. He promised to discuss it with Japan`s Minister of Agriculture. (ANTARA)


The Komodo National Park Office recorded that the United States was the main contributor of foreign tourists to Komodo Park from January to April 2018, reaching a total of 3,078 people.

"Foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2018 were dominated by the United States, with 3,078 visitors, from the total figure of 27,550," Head of Sub-Division of Administration of the Komodo National Park Dwi Sugiarto stated in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Saturday.

Sugiarto pointed out that countries that dominated tourist arrivals to Komodo during the January-April 2018 period were the United Kingdom, with 2,952 visitors, and Australia, with 2,831 travelers, in addition to 2,364 German tourists, 1,386 Dutch, and one thousand tourists from Italy.

Sugiarto noted that the flow of tourists to Komodo Park, one of the 10 national flagship tourist destinations, was dominated by foreign visitors.

The total number of tourists visiting during the time was recorded at 45,630 people comprising 27,550 foreign tourists and 17,640 domestic tourists.

According to Sugiarto, the flow of tourists increased sharply as compared to the first quarter in 2017, in which only 38,147 people were recorded.

This increase is supported by various intensive promotion efforts by relevant government agencies in the region along with the central government and tourism business players.

He noted that the number of tourist arrivals in 2017 was recorded at 125,069 people dominated by 76,612 foreign tourists, while domestic travelers reached 48,457 people.

"The flow of foreign tourists in 2017 was mostly from Australia, with a total of 7,412 people, followed by Germany, 7,330 people; Italy, 6,405 visitors; and others from France, the United States, and Spain," he stated. (ANTARA)



The Agriculture Minister, Amran Sulaiman, is determined to achieve self-reliance in garlic production by 2021.

The country needed to produce 550,000 tons of garlic from 89,000 hectares of land to achieve self-reliance in garlic production, the minister said after leading a ceremony to commemorate the birth of the state ideology Pancasila in Jakarta on Friday.

"The program must be realized. We must be able to reverse the current condition where 96 per cent of the garlic needed is still imported. We must be able to achieve self-reliance in garlic production and export garlic in 2021," he pointed out.

In 2017, garlic was grown on 2,000 hectares of land. The Agriculture Ministry had identified 600,000 hectares of land as suitable to grow garlic, he said.

The government would provide high-yielding seeds, increase the area of garlic plantation, and control imports, said the Minister. Every garlic importer would be required to plant enough garlic to produce 5 per cent of his or her import quota.

The Minister said garlic plantations would be expanded through state budget funds, farmers` self-financing activities, and investment. (ANTARA)


Two additional water-bombing helicopters have been sent to Palembang, South Sumatra Province, for anticipating wildfires during the 18th Asian Games that will be held from Aug 18 to Sep 2, an official said Palembang on Saturday.

Iriansyah, head of the South Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD), said that the two units of water-bombing helicopters are now being assembled in Palembang City.

Having capacity of 600 liters and 500 liters respectively, the helicopters will be operated to extinguish the wildfires and to conduct patrols at the fire-prone areas in South Sumatra.

These two units of water-bombing helicopters are part of 10 additional units that will be used during the Asian Games, he said.

Besides the two units, four other helicopters have completely been assembled so that they are ready for operation, he said adding that those choppers will play a critical role in extinguishing fires in isolated areas, mainly at peatland and forests.

According to Iriansyah, his office is committed to preventing the wildfires and hazes from occurring in accordance to the instruction ordered by South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin.

Besides South Sumatra, the authorities in Riau Province have also been committed to anticipating the wildfires by extending the emergency status last month.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has pledged to maintain coordination with all stakeholders to anticipate land and forest fires, the first secretary, Widada Sulistya said recently.

The agency has announced nine fire-prone provinces, namely

Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan.

The 18th Asian Games will take place in Jakarta and Palembang. However, the venues will not only be located in Jakarta, but also in its surrounding areas, including Tangerang (Banten Province) and Bogor (West Java). (ANTARA)

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