TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Yose Rizal Damuri, head of economic department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said that Indonesia would be benefited by from joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Rizal added that Indonesia would have access to wider market and attract foreign and domestic investors.
“If Indonesia decided not to join [the TPP], the country would be left behind,” Rizal said in a discussion in Jakarta on Saturday, November 21, 2015.
Rizal argued that Indonesia would be less competitive than Vietnam, who charged import duty 20-25 percent lower than Indonesia. Therefore, investors who initially targeted Indonesia shifted their preference to Vietnam.
“Vietnam is a real threat,” Rizal said, adding that Indonesia’s exports to the United States and Japan could be taken over by Vietnam.
By joining the TPP, Rizal said, Indonesia would have better investment mechanism, since the government would be urged to improve the investment system.
Muhammad Nawir Mesi, head of the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) echoed Rizal’s opinion, as saying that the government must conduct a bureaucratic reform before joining the TPP. Nawir argued that current policies would hamper business competition in Indonesia.
“It’s not business owners that need to be prepared, but the government must fix policies that hamper competitiveness,” he added.
Anwar Nasution, an economics professor at the University of Indonesia, said that the TPP would remove non-tariff obstacles and improve agriculture and manufacturing industries. Researcher at the Populi Center Niko Harjanto added that the TPP would also benefit Indonesia’s politics since the government would be forced to be more accountable and transparent.
AHMAD FAIZ IBNU SANI