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NEWS UPDATES 14 December 2009

Indonesia seeking to avoid impact from FTA

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Indonesia’s Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said Indonesia respected the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) scheme but it should also protect its national interest.

"We do not want our industries to be adversely affected. We need to protect national interest but should also respect the FTA scheme. That’s why we should find a way out," the minister was quoted by national news agency Antara as saying Friday.

Rajasa said that the matter was being discussed by the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry. "We have to find a way out for our industrial products such as steel and textiles which could be affected," he added.

He said that the FTA could not be implemented all at once as of January 2010 and Indonesia should table a number of objections. "Possibly, the scheme could not be implemented all at once. We should first submit matters relating to our objections," the minister said.

Hatta Rajasa acknowledged that Chinese goods were the main challenge for Indonesian products with regard to the FTA scheme. "That’s why we need to provide protection for our industries. We do not want our industries suddenly become victims," he added.

He said that his side was fighting for that. "We are fighting for that and let’s wait the results," he said.


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