Fri, 22 Jan 2010
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said the government is still maintaining its commitment in carrying out the ASEAN-China Free Trade agreement.

“Indonesia does not want to be seen as not complying with what has already been formulated by ASEAN members,” Yudhoyono said following a meeting with leaders of state foundations at the Bogor Palace yesterday.

Especially, the president said, when they know that Indonesia is a country with the largest economy in Southeast Asia and also a member of the G-20 countries group.

“We will discuss with the Chinese government regarding this matter,” he continued.

The government will manage this issue the best it possibly can.

According to the president, in the free trade, the country is facing an issue of protecting the people’s interest on one side and enhancing as well as preparing much better to cope with this on another.

“On another side, we will still collaborate with ASEAN and other partners,” he said.

The president said the government thought there was a need for evaluation and communication with various parties with regards to the wish to end the free trade.

“Don’t let this good intention and noble agreement lead to excessive problems for our economy,” he said.

According to the president, the ASEAN-China free trade has begun since the APEC meeting in 1994 in Bogor Palace, followed with the meeting in Bali in 2003, namely the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 meeting with other partners.

This continued with an agreement for an ASEAN China free trade.

Earlier, businessmen in at least 12 industry sectors had asked that the ASEAN-China free trade implementation be postponed because they were not ready to compete yet.

The government then renegotiated with ASEAN and China about the postponement of 228 tariff posts for one year.

The renegotiation process still continued.

But Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat felt the renegotiation went too slowly.

Confusion could not be avoided as ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuan said he had not received the proposal for renegotiation from the Indonesian government.

His statement was published in The Strait Times on January 13.

Meanwhile, goods coming from China began arriving at Belawan Port in Medan, North Sumatra.

The Chinese importers were intensifying the supplying of their products.

“The frequency has increased,” said Budi Karyono, Belawan Custom and Excises Services Office chief in charge of Investigation and Taking Measures.

According to Budi, the increasing number of imported goods included agriculture products, fertilizers, animal feed, steel and iron, and food.

“Electronic products are fewer than imported agriculture products,” Budi said.

He could not confirm the percentage of increase in imported goods volume early this year.

“I don’t have the data right now,” he said.




GUNANTO ES | SOETANA MONANG | MARIA HASUGIAN



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