Fri, 26 Mar 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Zhang Qiyue said socialization and education are very important to Indonesian and Chinese people to overcome concerns about the negative impact of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.

"In China, we are trying to educate our people, not only those who live in the national capital, but also in the provinces, on ACFTA and its implications," the ambassador said here on Thursday at a discussion in the Indonesia Summit 2010 held by the Economist Conferences at Shangrila Hotel, Jakarta.

Like in Indonesia, Zhang said, China`s industry was also experiencing an adjustment to the implementation of ACFTA.

"For example, there was concern in China over the flow of tropical fruits from ASEAN countries which might threaten the local fruit market," she said.

Zhang explained that many of Chinese people lacked knowledge about Indonesia. Therefore, the government has been encouraging the people not only to conduct trade with Indonesia, but also build bilateral relations by way of other sectors like agriculture and fisheries.

The ambassador expressed optimism that Indonesia and China could expand bilateral trade.

Asked about protests from Indonesian entrepreneurs that ACFTA had caused a negative impact on their business, Zhang said the people should not be worried about such issues, since the agreement would give more benefits both to Indonesia and China.

On the same occasion, Indonesian Trade Minister, Mari Elka Pangestu, admitted that some of national business sectors namely manufacture and textile were facing problems due to the implementation of ACFTA.

However, the minister emphasized that the Indonesian government would keep implementing ACFTA, while conducting studies to find a solution to the negative impacts of the agreement.(*)