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NEWS UPDATES 17 December 2009

Indonesia finds it hard to take on Chinese imports

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It is difficult for Indonesia to compete with imported Chinese products as the result of the Free Trade Agreement between Asean and China, an Indonesian economist Tony Prasetyantono was quoted as saying by national news agency Antara.

"It is difficult to seek a win-win solution from the agreement, a win-lose solution appears to be more likely, because our products are much like Chinese-made products," he said after giving an explanation on Indonesia’s fourth quarter economic performance in Jakarta Wednesday.

He added that now that there are so many products which are so similar, Indonesian products cannot complete with their Chinese counterparts, especially the products of both sides are also practically the same in quality.

"If the Chinese products are a substitution, and no complementary products, I believe that we would be able to compete," he said.

He also said that Chinese products which are competing with local products include manufactured products which practically are no different both in quality and price with Indonesian products.

In the meantime, Customs and Excise Director General of the Ministry of Finance Anwar Suprijadi said that the implementation of FTA has the potential to lower the state`s revenues from customs reaching only 15 trillion rupiah. "The potential loss may reach 15 trillion rupiah," he said.

He also said that with the big loss potential, there would be change in the 2010 State Budget, which had set the import duty revenues at 19.6 trillion rupiah, while last year’s State Budget set it at 16.12 trillion rupiah.


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