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Indonesian Trade Minister, Enggartiasto Lukita., Tsukuba – Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said the Group of Twenty (G20) forum is making every effort to ease trade war tensions that have the potential to disrupt the performance of global trade.

“We hope for the de-escalation of trade war tensions,” he said on the sidelines of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Digital Trade and Economy held in Tsukuba, Japan, on Sunday (9/6/2019).

The effort is necessary to prevent the global trade growth from declining further as projected by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO has projected the global trade will only grow 2.6 percent this year compared to 4.0 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018.

“They (WTO) will likely make another adjustment to the projection in the second half of 2019 if the condition remains as it is,” he said.

Hence, the effort to ease the tensions of the US-China trade war must be made to avoid sluggish global trade, he said.

The two-day G20 Ministerial Meeting on Digital Trade and Economy which discussed the latest economic developments ended on Sunday (June 9, 2019).

Among of them were exchange of digital economic data, de-escalation of trade war, reduction of subsidies for fair trade, reform of WTO role and significance of multilateral cooperation.

The G20 is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. Its membership comprises 19 countries plus the European Union. The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. (ant)





The opinion that Indonesia or the Southeast Asian countries will benefit from the dispute is a short-term observation., Jakarta – The Chinese Institute of International Relations’ Executive Vice President, Ruan Zongze, said that Indonesia could be a victim of the trade war that took place between China and the United States (US).

This happened because the trade dispute disrupted the global supply chain, where China and the US play a vital role. In the normal chain, Indonesia and the ASEAN countries export to China, and China re-exports to the US.

“Indonesia will also suffer from the disruption because the possibility of a market share will be narrower,” Zongze said at a news conference here on Monday (24/6/2019).

According to Zongze, the opinion that Indonesia or the Southeast Asian countries will benefit from the dispute is a short-term observation.

“I do not really agree with the observation that the ASEAN or Indonesia will benefit, because in fact, there could be potential damage to Indonesia,” he said.

Not only does Indonesia have the potential to become a victim in this dispute, but it may also be a target in the US-China trade war.

Zongze underlined the trade dispute as a globalized issue and likened China and the ASEAN countries to being in the same boat, where “no one can survive this bad weather”.

Zongze stressed that Indonesia and the ASEAN countries needed cooperation, especially to face the possibility of a narrowing market share.

“We must find out what the real priority of this trade dispute is. The number one priority is multilateralism,” he said.

Multilateralism, according to Zongze, is the key to Indonesia’s future development, as well as for the ASEAN integration. (suw)

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The 34th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok on Sunday (23/6/2019)., Bangkok – Ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have agreed to adopt the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific concept.

“Last night foreign ministers discussed the matter. Alhamdulillah (Thank God) ASEAN leaders have adopted ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (concept) initiated by Indonesia,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on the sidelines of the 34th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok on Sunday (23/6/2019).

The minister said there are five main points related to the Indo-Pacific; first, the background and reason behind the outlook of the Indo-Pacific; second, key elements in the outlook; third, objective; fourth, principles contained in the outlook and fifth, areas of cooperation.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has underscored the need for ASEAN to have outlook on the Indo-Pacific issue.

During the plenary of the 34th ASEAN Summit, the president attached the significance of ASEAN having outlook on the Indo-Pacific issue amidst the current global uncertainty, Retno said.

The outlook reflects the centrality and strength of ASEAN in respecting peace and dialog culture and strengthening cooperation.

Indonesia is grateful to other ASEAN member states for their support to develop the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific concept, she said.

“President Jokowi said nearly one year ago that Indonesia began presenting this Indo-Pacific concept,” the minister said. (ant)

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Foreign Ministry's Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, Jose Tavares., Jakarta – The Indonesian government has expressed its hopes that the ongoing evaluation of Timor Leste will result in its becoming a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The process (East Timorese membership) has been going on for a long time, since 2011 to the present, and is still ongoing, so we hope that there will be positive movement and activities towards determining this outcome,” the Foreign Ministry’s Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, Jose Tavares, said here on Wednesday (19/6/2019).

Jose took note of the process that must be undertaken by Timor Leste to become a member of ASEAN.

“At this stage there is a process to send a team to look closely at East Timor’s readiness, so that when this issue is discussed at the level of ASEAN heads of state, they can make political decisions to determine whether Timor Leste is eligible to become a member of ASEAN,” he said.

The readiness assessment was carried out through independent studies of the conditions of Timor Leste in three main areas: security, socio-culture and economy.

“From this study, in general, positive recommendations were given for East Timor to become a member of ASEAN,” he said.

However, Jose also said that the question of membership for Timor Leste would not be discussed this year, and there is still no target time for such a discussion. (yun)

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