Tuesday, 22 September 2020

President Calls Upon ASEAN Countries to Cooperate

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  • TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:President Megawati has called upon ASEAN countries to work together to achieve an ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). President Megawati announced this during the opening of an AFTA seminar held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel today (31/1). Megawati said the AFTA agreement was a pioneering step for ASEAN countries and all member countries should work together and cultivate a tolerance for each other. She said the new competition resulting from this agreement should not lead to distrust or trickery. “All members should be willing to broaden their focus beyond selfish interests,” the President said. The President believes ASEAN can ensure the signing of an agreement on the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme for members of AFTA, due to start on January 1, 2002. This would test the ASEAN countries on their commitment to an economic partnership. The new scheme would be applied on some products from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The President called upon Indonesian businesses to compete in the ASEAN free trade area and in the global market. She said businesses should use this opportunity to increase their productive and competitive ability. The President said AFTA and CEPT were merely tools for more important ends. “These are not the final goal. The more important thing is that ASEAN countries achieve prosperity and peace,” she said. (Dara Meutia Uning Tempo News Room)