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We will address FTA concerns to ASEAN – Minister

11
Jan '10
Mr Marty Natalegawa
After delivering the annual foreign policy statement, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa said, “Indonesia remains fully committed to its free trade agreement with China under ASEAN but will also seek ways to address the domestic industry's fears voiced that their business will be hurt by the inflow of Chinese products.”

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government submitted a proposal to the ASEAN Economic Community Council last week, to delay tariff reduction on 228 items under the free trade agreement between the Southeast Asia regional grouping and China.

The ASEAN-China which became effective from January 1, 2010 entails zero tariffs on 6,682 tariff lines in 17 sectors, including 12 in manufacturing, and five in agriculture, mining and maritime sectors.

Meanwhile, Speaking on the occasion, Marty Natalegawa said, "We will respect the commitment we have reached with any country and since every agreement has its own executing mechanism, we will see how to address the concern of each member and I am not saying for certain that it will mean a renegotiation, but we will definitely address our concerns to our partners."

Addressing her concerns, the Chairwoman of the Indonesian Garment and Textile Producers Association (APGI), Poppy Dharsono said, China had been able to trim prices of its textile goods by up to 56 percent, due to excellent infrastructure.”

While another expert bemoaned the fact that Indonesia had time to improve its infrastructure facilities from the time the negotiations for the FTA agreement began in 2005, but the drive to up-grade infrastructure never took off, due to the lack of will and foresight of the government.

Last week the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Zhang Qiyue made it very clear that renegotiation was unlikely because the tariff reduction arrangement proceeded step by step, from as early as 2005, with a full implementation of zero tariffs commencing from January 1, 2010.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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