September 11, 2008
Deadlock in WTO won’t affect Asean integration: Indonesia
Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said here on Wednesday that the deadlock in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations would not affect process of economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) which is set to be completed in 2015, reported Indonesia’s state news agency Antara.
"The WTO negotiations will go in parallel with and must be consistent with regionalism. We get more from regional negotiations than from the WTO.
Besides services and investemnt there are also issues of competition and manpower movement," she said at a seminar on Emerging Asian Regionalism Trends and Challenges.
To reach the target of the AEC (Asean Economic Community) establishment she said the Asean secretariat needs to become stronger institutionally so that it could monitor and coordinate the implementation of the AEC blueprint.
"It will be good if we can achieve just 30 percent of the AEC blueprint implementation in 2008. We must institutionalize the Asean secretariat so that it will not only record meetings but also coordinate its members," she said.