JAKARTA - One might find the notion of a huge pork market in Indonesia laughable - Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to think so as he chuckled over his agriculture minister's suggestion to improve pork sales in the country with the world's largest Muslim population.
A video of the Russian president scoffing at Minister Alexander Tkachyov's presentation on hiking pork exports to Indonesia went viral last month all over the globe. The president was so amused that he had to cover his face with his hands.
Despite Putin's apparent disbelief, his officials are taking it seriously and have taken concrete steps to grab a piece of the Indonesian market of over 260 million people, 12.8 per cent of whom are non-Muslims.
"Delegates from the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) participated in the Indo Livestock event in Surabaya, East Java, last April to introduce more of our many meat products, including pork," Maria Matsuri, a senior expert with the Russia Trade Representation office in Indonesia said to The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of major food expo SIAL Interfood in the Jakarta International Expo on Wednesday (Nov 22).