JAKARTA, January 19, 2018 – Coalition of Civil Society for Economic Justice (MKE) conducted an audience with the Director General of International Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Trade of Indonesia (Mr. Iman Pambagiyo). In this hearing the Coalition of MKE intends to request the development of information on three issues: First, the development of the 11th WTO KTM negotiations in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Second, the development of the RCEP negotiations; and Third, the development of IEU – CEPA negotiations.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE 11TH WTO KTM NEGOTIATION RESULTS
Progress in the 11th WTC KTM negotiations still gets minimal results. Because the proposals that G33, Public Stock Holding and SSM are fighting for by developing countries including Indonesia in the negotiations are not the main agenda of the discussion.
However, for the fisheries subsidies issue, Indonesia’s proposal to fight IUU Fishing action is agreed upon by several other developing countries including Indonesia. Thus, for the next WTO KTM fisheries subsidies issue also small fishermen subsidies will be discussed at the main table of negotiations.
In addition, in relation to e-Commerce discussions in negotiations has been re-structured so that products traded through e-commerce are subject to import duties. The most important cross-border e-commerce transactions can be taxed.
The Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia in the negotiations that conveyed directly in the 11th WTT KTM that for digital products but not his transactions, it may be subject to import duty. And after discussion with customs, e-commerce transaction can be traced through banking.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE RCEP NEGOTIATIONS
Some of the challenges in the RCEP negotiations include one that is ambitiously different among the ASEAN countries. On the one hand, Indonesia’s ambitious is more on setting a low tariff for the export of Indonesian products to ASEAN countries. While other ASEAN countries do not agree.
However, whatever is negotiated in the RCEP negotiations, the Ministry of Commerce always asks for the position of the coaching sector, because the tarrif policy to be established concerns the guidance of the Ministry of Industry.
Therefore, they (the Ministry of Industry) will conduct the study, whereas if it concerns agriculture, ESDM, each of the Ministry will do the study. Thus, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade can not decide on its own. Therefore, it should be in a position already considered by other ministries.
But in line with that the relevant ministries have conducted joint studies, that the RCEP agreement can provide benefits for Indonesia, in the sense can take advantage of regional supply chain. For example, raw materials in Indonesia are still limited, can be met by other countries.
There is also discussion on Goverment Procurement, but only limited to the discussion of transparency and cooperation, and the Government of Indonesia does not want to enter the discussion of market access.
The discussion on e-commerce also focuses more on cooperation, as Indonesia’s agreement with ASEAN is only limited to the cooperation scheme. For the RCEP negotiations will be held on February 2-9, 2018 and issues to be discussed include, Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment, Legal Aspect and Rules of Origin.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF IEU – CEPA TALKS
When compared to the RCEP negotiations, the discussion in the IEU CEPA negotiations is still at the back and the level of achievement is still below the RCEP.
Because the position of trade negotiations and investment with the EU is still talking tariff even the determination of tarrif reduction for Indonesia’s export products to the EU is still no agreement. Indonesia stressed on this tariff because up to now for Indonesia’s export products to the EU is still subject to tariff of 11% -14%.
Regarding the discussion of TSD (Trade and Sustainable Development) in the IEU CEPA negotiations on the issue of the palm sector should be aware not only of the environment but also of social issues. For this problem the Indonesian government hopes that Indonesia’s access to the EU is not discriminated against.
In the future, Indonesia will be sustainable in the palm oil sector, which is socially and culturally friendly and does not forget the people involved in it. But in the context of future negotiations the Indonesian government wants market access not to be disrupted by unbalanced issues, not because the EU immediately makes unilateral disconnections.
The TSD Chapter in the IEPA CEPA negotiations as a means for settling the commitment commitment issue by establishing a special committee that monitors the running or not of such commitments / agreements. Although the IEU CEPA negotiations the level of achievement is still below the RCEP.
But the EU looks aggressive in this negotiation on several issues such as IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) issues, trade in goods, investment, and procurement goverment.
With regard to issues to be negotiated in the IEU-CEPA 4th round, namely: trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, business competition, trade and sustainable development, MSMEs, trade in government goods and services, and cooperation and development capacity.
Rahmat Maulana Sidik
Coordinator Research and Advocacy on Food and Digital Trade Issues
Indonesia for Global Justice