TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia is to immediately follow the footsteps of Malaysia and Vietnam by signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) to protect export markets.
Director General of Security and Development of International Industry Access of the Industry Ministry Achmad Sigit Dwiwahjono said that in September, the Trade Ministry and the European Union would have a preliminary talk on the free trade agreement (FTA) in Bali.
“In September, we’re going to have talk scoping with the European Union on the FTA. Compared to Malaysia and Vietnam, it’s been too late for us. Malaysia has entered the eight round of the talk. They almost sign the agreement. Vietnam is also ahead of us. This is an alert for our exports,” he said on Friday (24/7).
Sigit also said that the average import duty to the European market is now around 7 percent and if Malaysia and Vietnam have signed an FTA deal with the European Union, their import duty will be 0 percent and Indonesian businessmen will certainly lose the competition.
Sigit further said that the agreement would still take into account risks and return benefits for Indonesia.
“As long as it (FTA) brings benefits, we’re going to pursue it because if they (the EU) wants our import duty to be zero percent there, they certainly want something here. This is what we have to calculate,” he concluded.