Tue, 21 Jan 2003

Govt told to curb paper dumping practices

A'an Suryana, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The local paper industry has demanded the government take immediate action against alleged dumping practices by paper manufacturers from Finland, South Korea, India and Malaysia.

The Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association said the countries had flooded the market with their paper products, which would seriously damage the local industry if the government did not act quickly.

The association, spearheaded by three paper and pulp giants -- PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper, PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia and PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills -- demanded the Ministry of Trade and Industry launch anti-dumping measures against coated and uncoated printing and writing paper products from the countries.

Foreign companies which have been accused of dumping their products here are Stora Enso and UPM Kyemmne (from Finland); Hansol, Shin Moorim and Shin Ho (South Korea); TNPL and Shashi Shahi (India); and Sabah Forest (Malaysia).

The paper association had previously appealed to the Indonesian Anti Dumping Commission (KADI) to launch an investigation into the practices.

According to the association, if immediate action was not taken, the domestic paper industries would suffer seriously in the future.

The association claimed that heavily dumped imports had increased steadily. Last year, dumped coated paper imports increased by a staggering 1,100 percent, it said.

Besides the loss of sales volume and market share to the imports, the domestic paper industry had had to reduce its prices to compete, which reduced profitability.

"The domestic paper industry has reduced the price by up to seven percent," said Suresh Kilam, the deputy chairman of the association, in a press conference here.

The domestic paper industry has already seen the cessation of coated paper production by one of its members in 2001 due to the unfair competition from dumped imports, the association said.

According to Suresh, the dumping practices were evident by the low price of paper that the foreign manufacturers offered on the Indonesian market, while at the same time, they sold their products at higher prices in their own countries.

"They sell their products at prices of between US$700 to $800 per ton at their home markets, while they sell it here at around $500 per ton," Suresh quoted was quoted by Antara as saying.

The situation faced by the domestic paper industry was aggravated by the government policy, which imposed no tariffs on imported paper, he said.

This was not fair, because other Southeast Asia countries such as Thailand and The Philippines still imposed five percent tariffs on imported paper to protect local industries, he said.