Korean fever in Indonesia continues. Korean drama, K-Pop culture, Gangnam Style are part of the lifestyle of Indonesian people. Likewise, with Korean cuisine. The typical Korean barbecue small restaurant with slogan All You Can Eat is now becoming hits everywhere. Various instant noodle products are also presenting Korean style.
For South Korea, Indonesia is a potential market. Therefore, the host country of the 1988 Olympics is hunting halal certificates from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) for its various culinary products. Halal certificate is considered to be the key to make Korean products are welcomed in Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim population in the world.
Assistant Chief Representative Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation (aT) Hyongsoon Choi, stated the purpose of their participation at the 2019 SIAL (Salon International D’Agmentation) Interfood exhibition in Jakarta was to export Korean food to other countries including Indonesia. Moreover, every year there are hundreds of products that register recently at the Food and Drug Licensing Agency (BPOM).
“We are promoting the Halal Certificate. Indeed, there is a grace period of 5 years but in advance we must have prepared it and that is also what was delivered to the buyers here,” she said on Friday (15 Nov) at JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta.
But there are obstacles encountered when trying to get a halal certificate in Indonesia, because there are some materials from South Korea that are not familiar in Indonesia, so it is difficult to get permission.
On the same occasion, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of aT, Lee Byung-ho said that currently there are many Indonesian people visiting or having vacation in Korea, and vice versa. So, the interest of the Indonesian people towards K-POP, Korean culture and culinary is increasing.
“Indonesian people, despite having extraordinary culinary diversity, like to try new culinary variety offered. Including various Korean culinary which they see in Korean dramas on television and Korean films in the cinema. Thus, through our participation here the Indonesian people can get to know more about Korean cuisine,” he said.
“We have participated in this event four times. We have collected products from Korean companies engaged in the culinary field, then we selected them. We have brought middle and lower companies here for free,” Hyongsoon Choi added.
There are 27 companies brought by aT to Indonesia with a variety of culinary products such as kimchi, instant noodles, ginseng, sauces, snacks, seafood, healthy food, fresh products, tea, herbal drinks and others.
In her notes, exports of Korean product sales in Indonesia have reached around $ 227 million in 2018. Indonesia is the 8th country in terms of the volume of Korean exports to other countries. It’s increased by around 17 percent from 2017.
“So, Indonesia is very important for Korea,” she concluded.