1ndonesia may seek to delay the implementation of ASEAN China tariff agreement

on Monday, an 1ndonesian trade official said that 1ndonesia may formally apply to Southeast Asia to postpone some tax cuts in China’s free trade agreement

the agreements signed by China and 10 member countries of the association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) form a trade area of US $200 billion, affecting 1.9 million people, forming the world’s largest trade agreement area in terms of population and the world’s third largest trade area in terms of trade scale, second only to the EU and NAFTA

the agreement should help China secure access to raw materials and open new markets from its huge neighbor ASEAN countries. 1t was originally signed in 2002 and covers about 7000 product categories. The agreement came into effect this year

however, 1ndonesia complains that there is a lot of resistance in the textile and clothing sectors, and that cheap Chinese imports can easily threaten local industries after the agreement comes into effect

1man pambagyo, director of the Regional Trade Cooperation Department of 1ndonesia’s Ministry of trade, said that 1ndonesia is considering the possibility of some departments delaying the implementation of the agreement

paymbagyo said the ministers are discussing the issue and will submit it to the president soon. The cabinet will make a decision in January

under the agreement, 1ndonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will have to reduce tariffs on about 90% of their imports to zero by 2010. Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar will make cuts in 2015

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