Sri Lanka asks Indonesia to cut wheat import tariff

Dec 05, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has asked Indonesia to relax a tariff on wheat flour imports, the commerce ministry said, in a move that can help make food cheaper for poorer Indonesians. Sri Lanka is the second biggest exporter of wheat flour to Indonesia estimated to have accounted for 30 percent of 400,000 tonnes imported into the country last year.

Indonesia uses wheat flour for its booming processed foods market of noodles, baked products and snacks.

In 1958, instant noodles (Ramen) were invented by Monofuku Ando, sometimes called the greatest Japanese invention in its recent history, initially helping feed the hungry in in post-World War II Japan.

It became a world-wide hit especially after cut noodles were invented in 1971.

Instant noodles have become perhaps among the cheapest meals available not only in Asia but also in developed regions such as North America.

Critics say after currency depreciation, food nationalism is probably the second most effective tool that a state and rulers can use to increase poverty and contribute to malnutrition.

Analysts say it is ironic that amid a recent rise in