Indonesians for Global Justice (IGJ) executive director Riza Damanik has urged the Indonesian delegation attending the ninth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting to fight for the establishment of a new, non-exploitative multilateral trade system.

“President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should instruct the Indonesian delegation to take an active role in urging the 159 WTO member countries to jointly develop a new, complimentary, multilateral trade system based on solidarity,” said Riza in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

According to Riza, many activities in the current trade system are facilitated by WTO instruments and tend to increase unhealthy competitive practices in which global players compete for and win markets in each country for similar products.

He said inter-country trade principles initially aimed at the mutual exchange of products that could not be produced in the respective countries.

“For example, we can import dates from Arabian countries because they cannot be produced in Indonesia,” said Riza.

Currently, however, Indonesia tended to import products, such as soya beans from the US and milk from European countries, although they could be produced domestically, he said.

All this time, Riza said, WTO instruments were often used by developed countries to take developing countries “hostage” in an effort to control both their production and markets.

Earlier, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asserted that global trade must adopt the principles of justice and transparency so that all parties could achieve gains from trade.

In his remarks at the opening of the WTO meeting in Bali on Tuesday, the President said trade liberalization could push countries to achieve gains from trade for their own interests.

The President, however, pointed out that in multilateral trade attention also needed to be paid to groups of countries that had weaknesses and needed support to increase their economic capabilities. (ebf)