2010 has just begun, and many are waiting for something better to happen. With the establishment of the Free Trade Area between ASEAN countries and China, Indonesia hopes to enhance its export growth in the midst of concerns from manufacturing industries.
January 1st marks the beginning of the free trade system in the ASEAN and China regions, and Indonesia needs to be ready for this. Economic expert, Didik J.Rachbini believes Indonesia must first improve its growth to create trade.
Didik J. Rachbini, economic expert, said, "If we can increase ASEAN, Indonesia and China growing together and trading together our volume of trade increases, we will get more employment. And improve welfare."
One sector claiming to be ready for the free trade system is Agriculture. The Indonesian Farmers Association claims agriculture is the only sector with the potential to compete with other countries agriculture products, because its quality can be turned from comparative to competitive.
Trade concerns arise mostly from manufacturing industries because of the challenge of competing with low cost production countries including China.
The Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association claims the textile industry is among those trying to manage its cost production.
Ade Sudrajat, Textile Association chairman, said, "The industry applied several changes in energy, machinery, human resources and communication. So Indonesia's textiles will not be that much different from Chinese products if they both sell similar products."
To overcome the fear and the concerns of the Indonesian people, the government is looking for a solution.
A proposal for modifications of the agreement implementation for several tariffs are being discussed.
The result of the discussion is expected to be negotiated in a formal forum with China.
Although the discussed tariff posts is less than 3 percent of the 8 thousand items, the government still feels the need to voice their concern.
Agus Tjajajana from Ministry of Industry said, "We know China has become our old friend. Whatever occurred in the agreement, I believe China is a true friend and we will consider and listen to her friend's complaints."
One of Indonesia's biggest wishes for this new year is for this agreement to improve its economy.