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Govt clarifies Indonesia's imports from Israel despite no diplomatic ties

Tempo - October 18, 2023

Yohanes Maharso Joharsoyo, Jakarta - The Indonesian Trade Ministry's Director General for Foreign Trade, Budi Susanto, responded to data on imports of goods from Israel despite the fact that the two countries do not have diplomatic ties. The Statistics Indonesia (BPS) disclosed the data last Monday, October 16, 2023.

Budi explained that goods imported from Israel could be done because of a connecting country as a third party. "Maybe it (the imports) goes through a third party, another country," Budi said at the opening of the 38th Trade Expo Indonesia at ICE BSD City, Tangerang, on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.

He explained that in this case, the ministry cannot control the process of importing goods from Israel if it involves other countries that have diplomatic ties with Indonesia. Regarding imported products from Palestine, he stressed that there is no special treatment.

On the same occasion, Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga said his side would first check import data from Israel as revealed by BPS. "We'll verify it later," he said.

BPS revealed on Monday that total imports from Israel to Indonesia in the period of January-September 2023 reached US$14.4 million or around Rp226 billion.

"If we don't have diplomatic relations, it doesn't mean that we can't have trade relations. It can still be done because it is business to business," BPS Acting Head Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti said in a press conference on Monday, October 16.

The import value from January to September 2023 was recorded at US$14.4 million, with the most imported products being base metal tools and equipment (HS 82), machines or mechanical equipment (HS 84), and electrical equipment and parts (HS 85).

The value of imports from Israel has fluctuated over the past three years; US$56.5 million in 2020, US$26.5 million in 2021, and US$47.8 million in 2022.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1785688/govt-clarifies-indonesias-imports-from-israel-despite-no-diplomatic-tie