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Indonesia Discusses Strategic Steps To Face The Asia-Pacific Free Market

World Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: IDgov}

Indonesia

Indonesia Optimistic about Facing the Asia-Pacific Free Market

Jakarta, – Indonesia has no choice but to face the Asia-Pacific free market that’s
coming in the near future and has to continue to prepare itself to realize it. This conclusion was
revealed at the workshop “Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP)” held at the Directorate
General of International Trade Cooperation of the Ministry of Trade March 26.

This workshop was held ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers
Responsible for Trade Meeting in May 2015 in Boracay, the Philippines, to prepare a strategy to
face the realization of the free trade of the Asia Pacific FTAAP, which continues to roll in APEC
cooperation forums.

“We hope that this workshop can be eye-opening learning forum to equalize perception between
the government, associations, and academics as well as a forum to enhance equal understanding
in facing the economic dynamics ahead of the free market era, particularly the FTAAP,” said Expert
Assistant to the Minister of Trade for Trade Diplomacy, Sondang Anggraini March 26, at the Ministry
of Trade Office.

The formation of the FTAAP has been a goal of APEC since 2006 to deal with the negative impact
of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in the Asia Pacific region.
At the APEC Summit in November 2014, APEC leaders agreed on efforts to realize the FTAAP, ‘from
vision to reality’.

“For some, the implementation of the FTAAP is believed to be able to boost economic increase in
the APEC region through convenience and the opening of various economic accesses. On the other
hand, competition in the business sector will inevitably also increase,” said Sondang.

There are several strategic steps that can be taken by stakeholders in Indonesia. A comprehensive
review needs to be done of domestic regulations that would restrain import and export. An FTA
roadmap that’s strategic and beneficial for Indonesia must also be prepared with an open mind.

“In the current trade era, we require interaction and communication with other economies or
countries to deal with domestic capacity limitations as well as clear strategy and roadmap of what
we actually want in every international trade negotiation forums,” said Sondang.

A number of expert sources conveyed their ideas, including Professor Lepi T. Tarmidi from the
Economic Faculty of Universitas Indonesia and trade expert from Australia Indonesia Partnership
for Economic Governance (AIPEG) Achmad Shauki. According to Achmad Shauki, our preparedness
in facing the FTA is not only measured by the domestic industry’s preparedness to compete with
imported products.

“There are four elements that are the benchmark of a country’s preparedness in facing the FTA,
namely trade facilities, investment facilities for global value chains (GVC) including in the services
sector, supervision of trade facilities in trade partner countries, and implementation of business
competition policies,” Achmad explained.

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