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Indonesia to scan TPP fine print before joining

Indonesia intends to voice its concerns and negotiate a few issues with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signatories before officially joining the US-led multilateral trade cooperation. It would take another year for TPP ratification to complete and during that time the country would thoroughly discuss its concerns surrounding the TPP. Under the state-owned enterprises clause, the TPP treaty requires member countries to ensure equal treatment for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private businesses, especially when SOEs receive government backing to engage in commercial activity. The country would negotiate the matter, especially given the fact that the Constitution mandated that the state was to control natural resources for the people’s welfare.

Textile business associations, meanwhile, highlighted benefits for Indonesia’s textile and footwear industry if the country joined the TPP as the products would be subject to zero per cent tax, making Indonesia competitive with regional counterpart Vietnam, which has joined the TPP.

To further review the benefits and negative impacts of joining the TPP, the Indonesian government will form teams to review future trade agreements and partnerships. Negotiations on the TPP were concluded in October last year by 12 signatory countries, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US.