Jokowi asked to review international economic agreements

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So far, among Indonesian workers, only welders have gained from the Japan-Indonesia trade deal

Antara News | 24 Oktober 2014

Jokowi asked to review international economic agreements

Jakarta (ANTARA News) — An economist asks President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to review all agreements on economic cooperation with other countries especially with Japan.

"Based on our analysis almost all economic agreements with foreign countries have no use for Indonesia," Shanti Darmastuti, a lecturer at the Veteran National Development University, said.

Speaking at a discussion on Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA) here on Friday, Shanti said most of the agreements have been unfair to Indonesia.

All forms of cooperation under IJEPA in particular should be reviewed as Indonesia has lost more than gained from the cooperation agreements since it was signed in 2007, Shanti said.

She said Japan still imposes certain export standards that restrict Indonesias exports to that country.

"The new government should be able to come up with a firmer form of negotiations to force Japan to minimize the restriction," she said.

She said Japan is interested in the countrys natural gas resources and wants Indonesia to supply it with gas and in compensation it facilitates the recruitment of Indonesian workers to Japan.

"The fact is Indonesian workers are still in difficulty in facing competition there . In addition, agreement on transfer of technology is not clear," she said.

So far only welders among Indonesian workers have gained, with certification from Japane, she said, adding, those working in other sectors have failed to gain anything.

She said many Indonesian exports are still in difficulty to penetrate the Japanese market.

The new government under Jokowi must have the courage to review agreements with Japan in sectors considered not fair to the country, she said.

"We do have received big assistance from Japan. The government is indeed facing a dilemma, but firmness is necessary," she said.

She said Jokowi needs economics minister that have strong commitment to make full use of the country’s rich natural resources.(*)

source: Antara News