Xinhua | January 31, 2009
Indonesian asks ASEAN to postpone signing FTA agreements with Australia, New Zealand
The Indonesian Industry Ministry demanded a postponement of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to protect Indonesian local industry, said an official here on Thursday.
"In such a critical situation, each country tends to strengthen its national products," the Sindo daily on Friday quoted the Ministry’s Head for Research and Development Dedy Mulyadi as saying.
According to Dedy, Indonesian local industry was not competitive yet for foreign market penetration, even for protecting domestic market. "The postponement might have taken one or two years ahead," the official said.
He said that though FTA proceeding is under the authority of the Indonesian Trade Ministry, the Industry Ministry has to propose the postponement, because the country’s export will decrease, which will hurt its manufacturing sectors amid global financial crisis.