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Indonesia Seeks Opportunity From Expanding Asean, Bilateral FTAs

Bernama, Malaysia

Indonesia Seeks Opportunity From Expanding Asean, Bilateral FTAs

5 October 2009

JAKARTA, Oct 5 (Bernama) — Indonesia is upbeat on its growing trade with China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand following plans to set up Free Trade Area (FTA) pacts with those countries under the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (Asean) agreement and by bilateral agreements, a senior official at the Indonesian Trade Ministry said here on Monday.

S.L. Tobing, Foreign Trade Director General at the Trade Ministry, said the government is now preparing to comply with requirements required in the would-be established free trade pacts with those countries.

"Among the essential requirement is the Certificate of Origin. We will be obliged to prove that the products we export to those countries are genuinely made by domestic producers," China’s Xinhua news agency quoted Tobing as saying.

According to the senior official, officials of ten countries that joined in the ASEAN are now in talks with their counterparts from India, South Korea, China, New Zealand and Australia regarding the plans to reduce import tariffs on certain products to those countries.

Apart from that, the Indonesian government is in bilateral talks with the Australian government over the plan to set up a particular Free Trade Area between the two neighbouring countries.

Tobing said that Indonesia is assisted by the representative office of the World Trade Organization (WTO)-sanctioned International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) in drafting the trade terms proposed in the FTA with Australia.

Indonesia saw a tremendous export growth in August this year to US$10.55 billion, or 8.89 percent higher from the month earlier with the most export consisting of natural resources commodities.

Indonesia’s total export in the last eight months this year stood at US$70.30 billion, or 26.30 percent lower than the same period last year.