Entrepreneurs are asked to prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 because as many as 128 service sectors will be open with ASEAN ownership. At that moment, a person’s or group’s ownership of shares of companies in each ASEAN country can be maximum 70% and there are no barriers to cross-border supply and purchases by consumers from other countries. “Therefore, the government will further strengthen the service sector in order to compete in the ASEAN market in 2015”, said Agus Cahyana, director general of international industry of the ministry of industry in Jakarta on Wednesday (6/12).
Agus sees that the role of trade of services is greater than trade of goods. According to him, the service sector contributes 45% to the economy in 2009. A study in 2012 also mentioned that the service sector reduced 80% poverty in rural areas and 67% in urban areas. Agus expects that employee competency standards in the field services would be enhanced. But, he admitted that the regulations governing trade of services in facing liberalization was inadequate. In fact, upon the implementation of AEC 2015, there will be 128 service sectors opened with ASEAN ownership (foreign equity participation (FEP)) up to maximum of 70%. Liberalization of services will also be implemented on the entire mutual recognition agreements (MRA) for professional services in that year.
He reminded that the government and the businesses must work together to improve the competitiveness of the service industry, particularly regarding standard of competence. For example, the large pump industry, how to improve the standard of competence of the repairmen. He said that MRA that has been completed included architectural, nursing, accountancy services, surveying qualifications, engineering, medical practitioners, dental practitioners, and tourism professionals.
Agus said that when other ASEAN countries entered the AEC, it will be a boomerang to Indonesia if Indonesia is unprepared. According to him, in the service sector, Indonesia’s toughest competitors are Singapore and Malaysia. But, in general the major competitors in AEC 2015 are Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Agus was optimistic wants to improve seriously from now on, Indonesia could excel because Indonesia’s human resources are actually good. For improvement, the role of the government is required as it is related to regulation. Now it is time for the government and the businesses to consult each other and to put together a power to deal with the AEC.
Global competitive challenges must e faced and opportunities must be utilized with a clear, focused, and integrated policy. So, readiness to face global competition requires regulatory reform, both at the central and local government levels. With the strong support of domestic stakeholders. Then, increase of quality of human resources and market access as well as reduction/elimination of barriers in the destination countries. He warned that the AEC will be a tough challenge for Indonesia with a population of around 230 million people. Indonesia should not be a market for ASEAN countries.
He said that Indonesia has joined the world trade organization (WHO). But, due to uncertainty over the timeline of when the free trade will begin, it makes a number of countries in the region to form regional trade forums, such as the European union, whereas ASEAN forms the AEC. (E)
Business News - June 14,2013