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International trade agreements and export, priorities of trade ministry

Jakarta Globe - November 8, 2019

Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The Ministry of Trade announced its policy priorities for the next five years, focusing on concluding international trade agreements and increasing exports.

"For the next five years, the Ministry of Trade will support President Joko Widodo's vision and mission. Currently, the national economic growth is 5.02 percent, and we are targeting to increase it to 5.4 to 6 percent. To do so, we need to improve our economic resilience to have better competitiveness," Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said in Jakarta on Friday.

"We also need to strengthen our investment growth, domestic trade, and curb the inflation by price stabilization," he said.

Agus said his office would focus on human development, infrastructure development, streamlining regulations, and minimizing bureaucratic red tapes as the President has mandated.

The president has, in particular, asked Agus to deal with the trade deficit and control imports.

"To protect our trade balance, we will be active in expanding our market access by finishing all international trade negotiations, which could increase our export and investment," he said.

Several negotiations on the table that are prioritized are Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA) with Tunisia, Morocco, Bangladesh, and Turkey.

"We need to keep a realistic export target amid the global economic slowdown. We will increase non-oil and gas exports by 6.8 to 12.2 percent. We aim to increase goods and services export by 4.5 to 8.6 percent. We will also secure and strengthen the domestic market, noting that 53 percent of our GDP is from our domestic consumption," the minister said.

The ministry will increase non-oil and gas export targets to $190 billion, compared to the 2018 target, $175 billion.

"To control our import, we will prioritize on importing raw or auxiliary materials that aim for export and investment," Agus said.

On export, they will focus on main products, namely crude palm oil and coal, also on exporting 4.0 Industries – food and beverage, textile and textile products, electronics, automotive, and chemicals, and non 4.0 industries – fisheries, general machinery, wood and wood products.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/international-trade-agreements-and-export-priorities-of-trade-ministry