Wed, 13 Jan 2010
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Industry Minister MS Hidayat plans to visit Tanjung Priok seaport on Thursday to alert customs authorities to a possible surge in imports following the coming into force of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

"Next Thursday (Jan 14) I will go to the customs office at Tanjung Priok port to discuss the activation of safeguards against the possible invasion by imported goods that can happen any time," Hidayat said here Tuesday.

He said Indonesia could devise a mechanism to examine imported goods based on its own regulations such as those on the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) and Certificate of Origin (SKA).

Hidayat said the best possible protection was renegotiating priority tariff entries which covered 9 sectors including steel, textiles, footwear, and electronics.

Hidayat also estimated that the imported goods invasion which would mostly come from China would occur in March and beyond.

"There is still time, so I`m going to Tanjung Priok port on Thursday. I will be proactive in preparing the safeguard because it will be the means to protect our industrial goods," he said.

To a remark that preparing the safeguard would take a long time, Hidayat said, all relevant bodies including anti-dumping duties should be prepared from the beginning to work immediately if necessary.

"We will discuss this issue with the customs office," he said.


Interest Rates

Meanwhile, on bank interest rates, Hidayat said industry wanted the interest rate to be not more than 10 percent.

"Industry itself would prefer an interest rate of below 10 percent but, yesterday Mahendra Siregar (former Executive Director of the Indonesian Export Financing Institute (LPEI) said that starting in January LPEI loans will be available at an interest of 9 percent," he said.

This, according to Hidayat, would encourage banks to lower their interest rates on loans.

He said interest on loans was a relatively big component in industry`s costs as it could reach around 40 percent of its overall expenditures.(*)



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