No Joy From President on Cattle Quotas

AUSTRALIA - The Indonesian President has reaffirmed commitment to his government's beef self-sufficiency policy, in a statement made in Darwin 3 July.
calendar icon 3 July 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been meeting over the last two days with Prime Minister Julia Gillard discussing trade, defence and people smuggling issues, reports ABCRural.

The Indonesian Government introduced its self-sufficiency policy in 2010, which aims to grow the country's own cattle herd to a point where beef imports from places like Australia are minimal.

In the last two years, annual import permits available to exporters have been more than halved to 280,000.

President Yudhoyono says he would like Australia to invest more money into the development of the Indonesian cattle industry.

"The beef, first-track, has been to buy from Australia," he said, through an interpreter.

"But now...there is a growing demand in Indonesia in line with an increase in the middle class in our country and an increase in their spending abilities.

"Therefore, Indonesia suggests we have a dual-track co-operation in the field of cattle and beef apart from what we have today.

"For the medium to long term, we could consider co-operation in the field of investment...which will no doubt bring real benefit for both our countries."

While the northern cattle industry continues to hope Indonesia will lift its import quota, there was little encouragement of that today.

At the same press conference, Julia Gillard supported President Yudhoyono's statement, towards developing the industry in that country.

"We look forward to continuing to supporting Indonesia's food security through our export trade and support for Indonesia's own beef industry."

The Prime Minister also announced an increase to the number of working holiday visas available to Indonesians, from 100 to 1,000.

Although representatives from the NT Cattlemen's Association, the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Live Exporters' Council and the Cattle Council of Australia were in Darwin, a planned roundtable discussion with the Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan was not held.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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