Jakarta Globe - 22 December 2023
Indonesia eyes CPTPP to enter Latin American market
A senior minister said Friday that the trading bloc Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership — also known as the CPTPP — could be Indonesia’s gateway to the Latin American market.
According to Chief Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia should look to expand its exports as a means to boost the economy. And the CPTPP might be the key as the trade bloc hosts several Latin American economies like Mexico, Chile, and Peru. Other CPTPP members include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam.
“We need to consider unlocking the Latin American market aside from Africa. The CPTPP becomes one of the keys we can quickly enter the Latin American market,” Airlangga told a conference in Jakarta on Friday.
“[The CPTPP] can simultaneously open [the market access] to Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru,” Airlangga said.
A senior official at the Trade Ministry said recently that Indonesia still chose to be absent from the trade pact. Speaking at a Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) forum in October, Indonesian trade policy agency head Kasan said: “As far as I know, there are no such plans [for a CPTPP membership].”
However, Indonesia has recently been quite open to the idea of being part of the CPTPP.
Airlangga last month met New Zealand’s then Trade Minister Damien O’Connor on the sidelines of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) forum in San Francisco.
“... [Indonesia] is studying the opportunities to participate in the CPTPP,” Airlangga told O’Connor.
A separate ministerial press statement reported that the CPTPP became a huge theme when British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Indonesia Richard Graham had talks with Airlangga in Jakarta in November. The UK has signed the protocols to join the CPTPP. The UK is now waiting for the legislative processes before it can finally become a member.
This trade deal is set to eliminate tariffs and reduce barriers for 98 percent percent of exports to member countries. The CPTPP also obliges its members to treat foreign suppliers fairly when competing for government contracts.
The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) revealed that Indonesia’s trade with Latin America and Caribbean nations totaled $11.16 billion in 2022. Indonesian exports to those regions also rose 16.5 percent last year.