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China Market Offers Huge Potential for Indonesia’s Traditional Herbal Products, Medicinal Plants

September 20, 2020, 10.46 PM

KOMPAS.comIndonesia stands to gain from increased exports of its traditional herbal products and medicinal plants to China where herbal remedies are rising in popularity amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indonesian envoy to China and Mongolia said recently.

Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun said based on China Customs Data, medicinal plants are among Indonesia’s top 10 commodity exports to China.

Djauhari said Indonesia is ranked 11th in the list of suppliers for Chinese imports for the category of goods or raw materials in the form of plants.

“The products that are mostly imported by China are plants used as raw materials for perfume, traditional medicines, and insecticides,” Djauhari said during a virtual talk on modern traditional herbal drinks.

Also read: Indonesia Reopens Flights to Wuhan and Other Chinese Destinations

“During the pandemic from January to July 2020, China’s import continued to rise and it saw an increase of around 32 percent,” the envoy said.

China could be a large market for traditional medicinal products because herbal medicine is widely consumed by the Chinese people for generations, he said.

The process of making traditional herbal drinks in Indonesia. Shutterstock/Odua Images The process of making traditional herbal drinks in Indonesia.

“Most of the Chinese people believe in the effectiveness of traditional medicine rather than pharmaceutical medicine,” Djauhari said.

“That’s why if we go to a doctor here, we will be asked whether we need traditional medicines or prescribed medications or a combination of the two,” he added.

Chinese people have been consuming traditional medicine to cure diseases and maintaining good health for thousands of years.

Also read: Vaccine Trial Volunteer Tests Positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia’s West Java

“It’s true that China has very strict requirements on traditional medicine, including procedures for registration, inspection, and distribution. But it does not mean it’s difficult or impossible to do.”

Currently, Indonesia has exported medicinal plants to China. However, not many are in the form of ready-to-consume herbal medicine. Most of the export products are raw materials for traditional Chinese medicine.

Also read: Indonesia, China Hold Meeting on Covid-19 in Hainan

“We have not exported finished products which could have added value. Most of them are still raw such as Curcuma zanthorrhiza and turmeric,” he said, adding that these were imported from Indonesia and he did not know about it.

To support this, the ambassador said the embassy will try to help bring traditional herbal products from Indonesia to China by providing a place to display the products in a shopping center in China.

“We, at the Indonesian Embassy, also provide a section called Window to the World to showcase Indonesian products. We are currently planning to also open Indonesia Pavilion,” he said.

(Writer: Syifa Nuri Khairunnisa | Editor: Yuharrani Aisyah)


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