Textile sector requests postponement of FTA between China & ASEAN

July 30, 2009 - Indonesia

The Director of Textiles in the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Indonesia, Mr Arryanto Sagala has sent a letter to the Secretary-General of Trade Ministry and International co-operation Management Center, requesting to postpone by five years the implementation of the FTA policy between ASEAN and China in response to financial crisis and protecting domestic industries.

The President of Indonesian Textile Industry Association said that the local manufacturers called upon the Government to develop national standards for the textile industry, implement anti-dumping and trade protection measures, so that the state can prevent Chinese textile products from bringing further shocks to the domestic manufacturing sector, after the establishment of a free trade agreement.

The President also said that if the Government took anti-dumping measures against China’s exports, China would also take retaliatory measures against fish and shrimp products from Indonesia, a trade war would be inevitable, therefore he believed that a free trade agreement could do more harm than good.

An industry expert from China said that the statements emanating from the Indonesian textile industry would not have an impact on the policy of China-ASEAN free trade agreement and in fact the improvement of China's economy could bring up economies in neighboring countries.

At present, Indonesia imports US $900 million of textiles from China.