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Cablegate: Indonesia: Expansion of Apec Food Defense Pilot

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJA #1499/01 2200538
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070538Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9724
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8499
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2869
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0610
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 2486
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 3231
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4794
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6314
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2325
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2922
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001499

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/EP, OES/IHB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER TBIO EAGR APECO ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA: EXPANSION OF APEC FOOD DEFENSE PILOT
PROJECTS

REF: SECSTATE 83232

1. (SBU) Summary: Embassy Jakarta does not consider
Indonesia a good candidate for the expansion of the
APEC Food Defense pilot project. Food defense is
not a government of Indonesia (GOI) priority. The
USG and GOI have very good counter-terrorism
cooperation that is unlikely to be appreciably
affected by expansion of the APEC Food Defense
pilot project to Indonesia. Embassy also believes
a program of this kind may be politically sensitive
now, given difficult USG-GOI negotiations on two
high-profile issues involving cooperative
activities. End summary.

GOI CT EFFORTS FOCUSED ON HALTING TERRORIST OPS,
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT ON OTHER USG PRIORITIES,
INCLUDING CTF
-------------

2. (SBU) The GOI has successfully focused its
CT efforts and resources on disrupting terrorist
operations in Indonesia. Apprehending terrorists
and countering efforts to radicalize parts of
society remain central GOI CT priorities.
USG-GOI cooperation on these CT efforts has been
very good and highly productive. There remain
challenges, however, in encouraging the GOI to
expand its efforts to address other USG priorities,
including countering terrorism finance and fully
implementing UNSC designations, activities on
which the GOI has not yet placed a high priority.


POLITICAL SENSITIVITIES OVER HIGH-PROFILE ISSUES
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (SBU) Two high-profile issues involving health
and scientific cooperation have resulted in acute
political sensitivities in some quarters of the
GOI. First, the USG has been engaged in difficult
negotiations with the GOI relating to the
continuation of operations of the Naval Medical
Research facility (NAMRU-2) in Jakarta. Secondly,
the USG continues extensive negotiations with the
GOI to restore critical sample sharing relating to
Indonesia's serious avian influenza outbreak.
A key GOI interlocutor on both these issues,
the Health Minister, recently sought to limit
scientific cooperation with numerous international
partners. Embassy concludes that some GOI ministries,
notably the Ministry of Health, would not be
receptive to a Food Defense pilot project in
Indonesia at this time. Furthermore, both the
NAMRU and AI sample sharing negotiations
require significant Embassy resources, limiting
resources available to undertake other activities.

GOI FOCUS ON FOOD SECURITY AND FOOD SAFETY
RATHER THAN FOOD DEFENSE
------------------------

4.(SBU) Indonesia, like many developing nations,
has been hit hard by recent substantial hikes
in food prices. With millions of citizens
at or near the poverty line and spending
over half their income on food, food security
is a high GOI priority. Growing hunger and
malnutrition have prompted the GOI to prioritize
efforts to increase domestic food production
and to distribute food aid and targeted monetary
assistance to poor Indonesians to help them
cope with higher food prices. The GOI also
continues to struggle with food safety issues.
While there has been some interest in food
defense expressed by a few GOI interlocutors,
there are few officials focused on the issue.
When Embassy Jakarta has sent GOI officials

to workshops on the subject, participation
has been limited to mid-level and lower-level
officials.


SPS DIFFICULTIES, LIMITED COOPERATION BETWEEN
PRIVATE SECTOR AND SOME GOI MINISTRIES
--------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Other factors which do not support
Indonesia's selection as a site for pilot project
expansion at this time include the GOI's
tendency to use SPS issues as opportunities
to restrict imports. The Ministry of Agriculture
and Badan POM (FDA-equivalent) do not have a good
record of accomplishment in working with the private
sector. Frequently GOI regulations place additional
burdens on businesses and traders that needlessly
drive up the cost of agricultural goods and food.

MARKET SIZE
-----------

6. (SBU) The U.S. is an important export destination
for Indonesian food and agricultural goods. U.S.
imports of agricultural, forestry and fishery
products from Indonesia totaled $3.4 billion
in 2007. U.S. exports to Indonesia totaled
$1.6 billion, making it the tenth-largest
export market for these goods.

HUME

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