JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — The ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) applied since January 1, 2010, reaps controversy. The reason is that the agreement nullifies import duties for thousands of products feared to be threatening the national industry.
Even so, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu underlines that the FTA may benefit Indonesia's export and investments.
"We had the FTA coming from a long while ago. Many sectors can benefit from it," she stated at the New Year press conference, Department of Trade office, Jakarta, Tuesday.
The minister stated that the export sector for main commodities, such as crude palm oil (CPO), cacao, and glass will have a boost due to the FTA. Furthermore, the minister is optimistic that the FTA can boost investments from China to Indonesia. "Our export to China will increase, such as for CPO and cacao."
The minister admits that some industrial sectors have objected the FTA. Therefore, the ministry has formed a special team to deal with the FTA.
Besides, the government has also notified all ASEAN countries and China regarding the objection. Hopefully, the FTA can be postponed for some sectors.
"The government is taking rapid responses and will continue to counter the emerging issues. Each sector has its own issues, so it must be studied first," she concluded. (ANI/C17-09)