Indonesian importers to boycott Sweden over Aceh

The Importers Association of Indonesia (Ginsi) said at a press conference on June 5 that its members had begun a boycott of all imports from Sweden in a protest over that country’s refusal to punish Aceh rebel leaders residing in the country, The Jakarta Post reported.
     “Starting today (June 5), we will boycott all imports from Sweden. I will be held responsible for the boycott action,” said Ginsi chairman Amiruddin Saud at the press conference after a meeting of the association members.
     Ginsi groups some 7,800 importers, mostly small firms, across the country.
     The Indonesian government has repeatedly asked Sweden to take action against Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leaders, including Hasan Tiro, Zaini Abdullah and Malik Mahmood, who have been living in the country since 1979 and have been granted citizenship. Sweden, however, declined the request on the grounds that they had not violated Swedish or Indonesian law.
     The two countries have enjoyed good bilateral relations for several years. Sweden is also a member of the major donor countries grouped in the Consultative Group for Indonesia.
     Data from the Central Statistic Agency showed that the value of bilateral trade of the two countries has been steadily increasing.
     Amiruddin warned that he would ask all stevedoring companies and all worker’s unions at seaports across the country not to load any Swedish products, beginning July 5.
     Ginsi has also sent a letter to Bank Indonesia, asking the bank to order all foreign exchange banks in the country not to issue letters of credit for imports of products from Sweden.
     Responding to the reporters’ question of whether the importers would obey the boycott call, Amiruddin said he, as Ginsi chairman, could guarantee that all the members, including the importers of Volvo, would follow his instructions.
     Volvo, a high-end automobile manufacturer from Sweden, uses PT Ford Motor Indonesia as its importer.

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