Dairy chief wants EU deal with In­done­sia

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - Claire Fox

IRE­LAND must push for a free trade agree­ment with In­done­sia if it wants to suc­cess­fully com­pete in the south-east Asian mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to the head of

Dairy In­dus­try Ire­land (DII), Conor Mul­vi­hill.

Mr Mul­vi­hill said that a

5pc tar­iff In­done­sia ap­plies to most dairy prod­ucts makes it more dif­fi­cult to com­pete with New Zealand and Aus­tralia. “A free trade agree­ment (FTA) is a key piece of in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

“We’re al­ready com­pet­ing against New Zealand and Aus­tralia which have trade agree­ments with In­done­sia. Peo­ple will turn around and say that the tar­iff is only 5pc for most dairy prod­ucts but we are a very low-mar­gin in­dus­try, so 5pc plus the lo­gis­tics and ex­penses re­ally is a lot”.

“Ire­land needs to fo­cus on driv­ing that free-trade deal on the EU level,” he said.

Mr Mul­vi­hill was speak­ing as part of an Ir­ish trade mis­sion events to In­done­sia.

Speak­ing at the Ir­ish em­bassy in Jakarta, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter

Michael Creed said build­ing aware­ness of Ire­land in the re­gion was a chal­lenge.

“We like to think that some­times ev­ery­body knows all about us, but that’s far from the case,” said Mr Creed.

“If you walk down the main street of Jakarta lev­els of aware­ness might dis­ap­point us.

“It’s an on­go­ing en­deav­our to sell and mar­ket and pro­mote Ire­land,” he added.

Ray­mond Li of Glan­bia Shang­hai said that this in­crease in de­mand is an as­pect of trade that of­fers po­ten­tial for the pro­ces­sor, but said get­ting reg­is­tra­tion to im­port to In­done­sia could take some time to fi­nalise.

“In­done­sia is a po­ten­tial mar­ket with 260 mil­lion peo­ple and we are see­ing their do­mes­tic milk sup­ply is not enough for its grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, which is good for us,” he said.

“We are fac­ing some is­sues re­gard­ing reg­is­tra­tion to im­port to In­done­sia, so we hope to get help from the gov­ern­ments in Ire­land and In­done­sia to help us sort this out. In­done­sia is one of the most im­por­tant mar­kets for us.”

Bord Bia’s main ob­jec­tive for the trade mis­sion is to raise aware­ness of Ire­land as a source of sus­tain­able dairy.

In­done­sia is only 40pc self-suf­fi­cient in dairy, while Malaysia is just 5pc self-suf­fi­cient. Ris­ing liv­ing stan­dards in both coun­tries is boost­ing de­mand.

New Zealand is the prin­ci­pal sup­plier.

At a dairy sem­i­nar with In­done­sian buy­ers and mem­bers of the Ir­ish dairy in­dus­try in Jakarta Bord

Bia CEO Tara McCarthy ex­plained that Ire­land could help ser­vice the grow­ing west­ern­ised di­etary trends in both re­gions.

“The op­por­tu­nity in these two mar­kets is sig­nif­i­cant as In­done­sian and Malaysian con­sumers in­crease the per­cent­age of dairy-based food in their diet,” she said.

Over the five-day trade mis­sion more than 120 In­done­sian buy­ers will meet 80pc of Ir­ish dairy com­pa­nies on the trade mis­sion.

Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, with Thomas Dar­mawan of Kadin In­doe­sian Cham­ber of Com­merce at a dairy sem­i­nar in Jakarta

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