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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     March 7, 2017  

Indonesia to discuss trade agreements during IORA meetings

The Trade Ministry will approach six countries, mostly non-traditional markets, to try and expand Indonesian exports and discuss the potential of sealing trade agreements during a series of high-level meetings with members and partners of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) next week.

The six countries are the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa, Bangladesh, Iran, the United States and the United Kingdom (UK).

The UAE, South Africa, Bangladesh and Iran are IORA members, while the US and the UK are IORA partners that will participate in the meetings from March 5 to March 7.

“We’ve agreed with Saudi Arabia to conduct a joint study [on a trade agreement] and we will discuss similar issues with the six countries during the IORA Summit,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Friday at a press conference on the IORA.

Inking trade agreements such as free trade agreements and preferential trade agreements is a crucial part of Indonesia’s strategy to boost exports in the middle-term.

The largest economy in Southeast Asia has struggled to maintain its export growth as the prices of commodities, which make up a sizeable portion of the country’s overseas shipments, have fallen over the past few years.

Overall exports declined by 3.95 percent to US$144.4 billion last year according to data from the Central Statistics Agency.

This year, the Trade Ministry will set a more moderate export growth target, hoping that exports will surge by 5.6 percent from an earlier projection of 11.9 percent.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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