Indonesia has notified the Asean council of its plan to modify the implementation of the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement by renegotiating 228 tariff categories in eight industrial sectors, a senior cabinet minister said on Monday. "We have sent notification for a renegotiation with Asean and China regarding the agreement because it has a potential to weaken local industries," Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa said. The government is seeking to delay the implementation of tariff cuts on 228 categories of products to give local industries a chance to become more competitive to withstand the onslaught of cheap Chinese imports. In return, it is offering to accelerate the implementation of tariff cuts on 153 tariff categories. The trade deal took effect on Friday.
Source: The Jakarta Globe, p.B, 5 January