Thu, 08 Apr 2010

From: The Jakarta Post

By Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promises the government will protect sectors that might be harmed by the full implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

The President told a press conference here Wednesday the government was paying considerable attention to Indonesian public concerns over the full implementation of ACFTA and promised it would seek solutions for any problems possibly emerging from the agreement.

Many local industries have expressed fears over the possible influx of cheap Chinese products that could hurt their markets as a result of full implementation of ACFTA.

The government has been criticized for not being able to address the matter.

“The government is paying attention to ACFTA problems,” Yudhoyono said in response to the concerns.

“It is on our agenda to improve the partnership between the two countries, and we will discuss fully any problems concerning certain sectors possibly emerging from [the full implementation of ACFTA], and find solutions for them,” he added.

The President said the government would ensure that both local workers and industries were well-protected from the negative impacts of the ACFTA.

“Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will visit Indonesia in late April We will discuss a partnership that will be of great benefit for both China and Indonesia,” he said.

The President explained that both countries had signed a strategic partnership in a number of fields, including the economy.

He added that China had expressed its intention to boost cooperation with RI in the fields of infrastructure, energy and trade.

The President received Chinese Trade Minister Chen Deming at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Monday who had met with Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu in Yogyakarta on Sunday.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has criticized the meeting as it considered it as having failed to support the request made by Indonesian companies to postpone implementation of zero tariffs on 228 posts under the free trade agreement.