[Indonesia, South Africa] South Africa is interested in importing Eucheuma cottonii seaweed produced by the fishermen in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province to meet the raw material needs of its cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
“South Africa needs one million tons per year to supply raw material for its cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as well as textiles,” Sasi Rustandi, the head of cultivation of the provincial fishery and marine office, stated here on Wednesday.
He noted that South African Ambassador to Indonesia Pakamisa Augustine Sifuba had expressed keen interest to import seaweed from NTB during a meeting with Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi recently.
The ambassador also set aside time to visit the seaweed production center in Serewe, Jerowaru sub-district, East Lombok.
South Africa is interested in buying seaweed to meet the raw material needs of its developed cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and textile industries.
To follow up on the seaweed export-import plan, Sasi remarked that the ambassador will facilitate a business meeting between business players from the two countries after a government-level bilateral meeting.
“Seaweed production in NTB from 12 thousand hectares of cultivated land reached 770 thousand tons in 2014 and 800 thousand tons this year. Only half of the potential land area has been utilized,” he pointed out.
Various efforts have been undertaken to boost seaweed production in the province in order to meet the demands of several countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
“Currently, NTB mostly exports seaweed to China. Due to the global economic slowdown, the exports have been somewhat sluggish. Hence, the opportunity to export to South Africa can be an alternative as it has not been majorly affected by the fluctuation in exchange rate,” Sasi added.
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