Indonesian Govt Rejects Freshwater Pearl Imports

Indonesian Govt Rejects Freshwater Pearl Imports

The government has rejected the importation of low-quality freshwater pearls. The Maritime Affairs and Fishery Ministry will draft a regulation on the proposed ban which is expected to be issued in August, Victor Nikijuluw, the fishery product marketing and processing director general said last week.

The ban is seen as crucial as freshwater pearls are priced the same as expensive seawater pearls and businessmen can exploit the market. �They lie to the customers, saying the pearls are from the Banda Sea, when in fact they are freshwater pearls,� said Victor.

Last year, pearls were US$5 per gram, and now they are US$ 16 per gram. The price increased because the association was unable to improve the quality of pearls. The three tons of imported pearls came from various countries, including China. The amount is half of the national production of 5.7 tons per year, 95 percent of which are exported.

Maritime Affairs and Fishery Minister Fadel Muhammad says the local pearl business is promising. Last year, global trade in pearls was valued at US$ 1.5 billion but Indonesia only exported US$ 30 million. The most expensive type is the south sea pearl, of which Indonesia is the world�s largest producer.

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