Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia predicts imported products from China will rise by the end of the first quarter or around March this year following the implementation of the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).
Industry Minister Hidayat MS said on Saturday "I predict there will be a hike at the end of the first quarter this year."
However, he said, it could also happen earlier than expected and therefore he called on all parties concerned to take matching anticipatory measures.
He said Indonesia hoped it could increase its competitive edge to deal with the ACFTA.
Indonesia had earlier also signed a free trade agreement with Japan through the Indonesia-Japan Ecoomic Partnership Agreement (IJ-EPA).
Based on customs office data, since the implementation of the IJ-EPA, Japan`s exports to Indonesia reached only US$700 million while the country`s exports to Japan reached US$3.5 billion.
In terms of exporters only 8,000 Japanese exporters had used the IJ-EPA facility while the number of Indonesian exporters using the facility reached 40,000.
Regarding the implementation of the ACFTA, the ministry of industry had said that the country`s industries would be able to increase their exports to China while at the same time optimizing their domestic market.
However it was admitted that China`s bargaining power was better and economy which grew around 10 percent in 2009 had in itself made local businessmen worried.
The director general of customs and excise, Thomas Sugijata, shared the view of the ministry of industry that imported products from China would rise in the local market.
"So far no hike has been seen," he said.
He said the graph on imports using free trade aggreement facility from China from July 1 2009 to January 14 2010 did not show a significant rise in imports of goods.(*)