XINHUA/Indonesia to go ahead with free trade deal with India
JAKARTA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian government will go ahead with the implementation of another free trade agreement with India despite strong opposition from local industries, the Jakarta Post quoted a minister as saying on Monday.
Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu told The Jakarta Post that together with other ASEAN countries, Indonesia would implement the free trade agreement with India to take advantage of the South Asian country's massive local market.
Mari said that Indonesia would fully implement the ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA) on June 1 and was also scheduled to implement similar trade deals with South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
"We should take up the opportunities to benefit from the implementation of the agreements," the trade minister.
She said the free trade agreement with India would benefit Indonesia's CPO producers.
"India is now imposing import tariffs of up to 80 percent on Indonesian CPO products.
"Fortunately, we have been successful in negotiations with India to gradually decrease the tariffs after the implementation of the agreement," she said.
According to Deputy Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar, without a free trade agreement with India, Indonesia would miss out on potential revenues of about 3 billion U.S. dollars from CPO exports a year.
Mahendra said it could lead to a potential loss of 8 billion dollars if combined with other products.
"The loss might affect about 4.5 million farmers and workers in the CPO-related sector," he said.
India is Indonesia's fastest growing export destination after China.