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March 5, 2008

Deficit running for four years in a row

Indonesia has been suffering a deficit in its trade with European Free Trade Area (EFTA) member countries for the past four years, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu was quoted by national news agency Antara as saying Tuesday.

Indonesia`s exports to EFTA members stood at $235.8 million in 2004 while its imports reached $275.1 million, the minister said at a seminar on promoting agricultural and fishery exports in Jakarta. EFTA groups Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The deficit rose in 2005 when Indonesia`s imports from EFTA members increased to $316.9 million while its exports stood at $256.6 million, the minister said in her address read out by Head of the National Agency for Export Development (BPEN) Bachrul Chairi.

In 2006, Indonesia`s exports to the region fell to $245.6 million while its imports rose to $341.7 million, she said. Indonesia`s exports to the EFTA members rose to $273.4 million while its imports climbed to US$455.2 million.

Indonesia`s exports to the region included electrical appliances, textiles, garments and footwear, while its imports from EFTA members mainly consisted of machineries and pharmaceutical products.

The minister said Indonesia`s exports to EFTA counties were relatively low because many of its products did not meet the European Union`s high health and security standards.

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