Wed, 10 Feb 2010

Manado (ANTARA News) - Cement made in China that does not meet SNI (Indonesian National Stadard) norms will not be allowed to enter North Sulawesi province despite the Asean-China Free Trade agreement (ACFTA), a local trade official said.

"If they do not meet SNI conditions, Chinese cement imports cannot enter North Sulawesi province," the head of the domestic trade section of North Sulawesi`s trade and industry office, Janny Rembet, said here Tuesday.

Cement was a strategic commodity and therefore was subject to to SNI norms and thus it could be marketed only if it met the quality speficiations set by SNI, he said.

"Cement co-determines the durability and strength of buildings toward natural disasters or other dangers. Therefore, the provincial government will allow only cement meeting SNI norms to be marketed in North Sulawesi," Janny said.

Free trade did not mean all foreign-made goods could enter the country regardless of their quality, he said, adding all other countries adhered to this stance.

North Sulawesi`s need for cement was so far being met by the producers of three domestic brands, namely Tonasa, Tiga Roda and Bosowa with Tonasa holding the biggest market share, followed by Tiga Roda and Bosawa.

For the month of February, North Sulawesi need for cement was estimated at only 25,000 tons but the figure was expected to rise in the coming months when a number of government projects would begin to be implemented. (*)