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Minister slams F&B firms objecting to sugar auction

Indonesia’s trade minister, Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita, has lashed out at food and beverage (F&B) firms that have objected to the ministry’s plan to introduce a new way of purchasing sugar through commodity auctions.
The Trade Ministry plans to introduce an alternative B2B sales and purchase of sugar by auction, but many big firms have raised their objections, asking that the government stick to the old, direct B2B transactions between F&B producers and sugar refineries.
The government initially planned to start the auction in October, but has delayed it due to rising objections. The delay means companies can opt for the old B2B format, but they still have to report their sugar purchase volume and value to the ministry.
“Those who don’t want the auction and resist reporting their sugar purchase [don’t want the tax office] to know their production size and the actual amount of tax they should pay,” Enggar told reporters on Thursday.
“If they intend to play hankypanky with the tax body, they will apparently be resistant, and for those who are resistant, it’s time for us to check their tax compliance,” he added. – The Jakarta Post

Rice exports profit to rise in Myanmar as demand soars 
Rice export prices are likely to increase this year as foreign demand rises, according to Myanmar rice exporters.
“The price is expected to increase by about 50,000 kyats (Bt1,216 baht) per basket this year,” said rice trader Sai Kyaw from Mandalay. “The farmers should not sell their paddy in a hurry. If they have to sell, they should sell what they need. In my view, traders will compete to buy rice." 
He added the price rises would apply to the kinds of rice that were exported.
Myanmar exported over 1 million tonnes of rice in the first five month of 201718 and was expecting to export 2 million tonnes of rice this fiscal year – and it might overtake the estimate, said Vice Chairman Dr Soe Tun of the Myanmar Rice Federation.
Myanmar signed an agreement to sell 300,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh on September 7.
“We shipped 3,000 tonnes of rice from Pathein to Bangladesh under the previous government. In the mean time, private exporters sent a few tonnes of rice to Bangladesh. It is the first agreement under the [National League for Democracy] government. We have no agreement with other countries yet,” he said. – Myanmar Eleven

Indonesia agrees to lower tariff on Australian raw sugar
The Indonesian government has agreed to lower the tariff on Australian raw sugar to 5 per cent from 8 to 13 per cent when the Industry Ministry issues a related regulation in the next two weeks.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said there would not be an increase in the raw sugar import quota this year but the policy would provide options for importers to buy more from Australia, in addition to Thailand, the biggest sugar exporter to Indonesia.
“The raw sugar tariff [for Australia] will be 5 per cent, the same rate we apply to Thailand, so [Australian sugar] can be more competitive. It is important because we don’t depend only on one country,” Lukita said at a press conference.
Indonesia depends on raw sugar imports, mostly from Thailand, to fulfill its household and industrial needs. This year, the ministry estimates that the country will import 3.5 million tons of sugar out of the national demand of 6.2 million tons.
To lessen its dependence on imported sugar, Indonesia will introduce various incentives for local sugar industry players and planters. – The Jakarta Post

‘Ecommerce will drive growth’ of micro, SMEs in global market
Malaysia’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) should take advantage of ecommerce and be innovative to become strong competitors in the global arena, said Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
In a globalised world interconnected through information and communications technology, ecommerce plays a key role not only in domestic and crossborder trade, but also in facilitating foreign investment through the supply of intermediary services, the International Trade and Industry Minister said.
Ong added that ecommerce is particularly beneficial for MSMEs as it significantly lowered barriers to entry and operating cost for businesses.
He said this at his opening remarks while chairing the second Plenary Session of The 7th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Economic Ministers Meeting (EMM7) held in Seoul on Saturday.
During the session themed “Strengthening Economic Connectivity”, economic and trade ministers from 21 Asian countries and 30 European countries agreed on the importance of enhancing multilateral work on ecommerce.
Ong said the ministers also reaffirmed the leading role of MSMEs in job creation, economic growth, and prosperity in both developed and developing countries.
“The ministers expressed strong support to internationalise MSMEs by fostering their participation in regional and global value chains,” he said.
“This could be achieved by providing better access to information, improving their access to local digital infrastructure and enabling them to reap the benefits of freetrade agreement networks,” he added. – The Star

PH, Japan to firm up financing for P315B infra projects
The Duterte administration’s economic managers and the Japanese government will firm up next week financing commitments for P315.4 billion in bigticket infrastructure projects, the Philippines Department of Finance said Friday.
In a statement, the DOF said the PhilippinesJapan HighLevel Committee on Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation will meet in Tokyo today, their third after the meetings held also in Tokyo in March and in Manila in July.
Finance Secretary Carlos G Dominguez III, who cochairs the Philippine side with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M Pernia, said the upcoming latest round of meeting would focus on ways to speed up the processing and implementation of timelines of the flagship infrastructure projects being eyed for possible Japanese financing.
Pernia had said that eight projects would be pitched for financing by the Japanese government.
“We want to discuss with them how we can fasttrack the process of implementing the projects,” Dominguez said. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Hightech agriculture is key sector for HCM City future

Ho Chi Minh City has identified hightech agriculture as a key sector and is striving to become a hub for the development and supply of crop and animal strains in the southern region of Vietnam.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the city enjoys great advantages in this regard.
For instance, it annually supplies 20,00024,000 head of dairy cattle to the city and other provinces, mainly HolsteinFriesian hybrids, earning about 500 billion dong (Bt728 million) in the process.
Beef is also a strength since the industry has imported more than 1,000 brahman and droughmaster breeds of cattle for crossing and creating new breeds with weights of 450550kg and carcass weights of 5254 per cent.
The department’s director, Nguyen Phuoc Trung, said the city targets having 90,000 dairy cows and supplying 22,000 dairy cows a year by 2020.
It also aims to supply 10,000 tonnes of beef on the hoof and 7,000 head of cow breeds a year by then, he said.
The city also hopes to supply to the market more than one million breeding pigs per year.
It has 47 enterprises engaged in growing and trading plants, the highest number in the country. Since 2010 they have supplied to the market more than 81,000 tonnes of seeds, including 12,109 tonnes of vegetable seeds.
They have also produced 267 new plant strains.
Besides, the city has 35 tissue culture labs, which are capable of producing 16 million seedlings a year, mainly of orchids.
It has many agriculture and biotechnology universities and research institutes.
It has been carrying out programmes to develop highquality animal and plant strains since 2005.
The deputy director of the Crop Production Department, Tran Xuโn Dinh said the biggest challenge for the farm sector is t

Published : September 24, 2017