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NEWS UPDATES 5 December 2009

Indonesia seeks to readjust China-Asean FTA schedule

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Indonesian government intends to renegotiate the implementation of the Free Trade Area in the Asean region and between Asean and China which would start on January 1, 2010, national news agency Antara quoted Hatta Radjasa as saying.

The coordinating minister for the economy said after a cabinet meeting here on Friday that it was still being studied if there were possibilities to postpone the implementation of the agreement.

"Indeed there are possibilities for us to think of to discuss the matter. The question is there a possibility for its postponement," he said.

Hatta said Indonesia did not intend to not adhere to the agreement but "we must see if there are possibilities for us to conduct preparations at home."

He said he had assigned the industry minister, MS Hidayat, and officials of the trade ministry to find possibilities for renegotiating the agreement.

"They are still discussing it. They will later report to me. I am optimistic so long as the possibilities are there we will do what we can for the sake of common interests particularly of our industries," he said.

Several industrial sectors in the country have complained about the planned implementation of the free trade agreement between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China on January 1, 2010 because they thought Indonesia was not yet ready for competing with goods from China.

Several associations have asked the government to conduct renegotiations so that the planned imposition of free tariff agreement on several commodities considered not ready could be postponed.


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