Greatindonesia.co.id, Bangkok – Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita held bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart, Simon Birmingham on the sidelines of the 51st ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) held in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday (9/9/2019).
The meeting took place a few hours before ministerial negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) multilateral economic agreement which has been under negotiations for several years.
RCEP which is still a draft free trade pact covers 16 countries which make up 40 percent of the global gross domestic product.
Heads of state/government from 16 RCEP member states have expressed the hope the substantial discussion of the pact could be concluded in November 2019. Australia is one of the 16 countries involved in RCEP and has great interests in this pact.
Lukita is scheduled to deliver the outcome of his bilateral talks with the Australian trade minister and ministerial meeting for RCEP on Sunday evening local time.
Related news: Government eyes completion of RCEP, IK-CEPA, IT-ECA by 2019: minister
Related news: ASEAN economic ministers stress on RCEP finalization
During the opening of the 51st AEM on Friday, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in the capacity as ASEAN Chairman underlined the significance of finalizing the RCEP agreement at the end of this year. He believes that the RCEP will promote closer and more stable economic, trade, and investment climate between ASEAN member states and their partners.
“The finalization of RCEP this year will reflect the trust of the region and dialog partners in synchronizing trade and investment,” he stated.
RCEP agreement is also considered important to increase trade among countries in the region amidst the escalation of global trade tensions and potential global economic recession.
RCEP is an ASEAN-centered proposal for a regional free trade area that will initially include the 10 ASEAN member states and those countries that have existing free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN: Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and New Zealand. (iap)
INDONESIA RE-EXPORTS HAZARDOUS WASTE TO AUSTRALIA
Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – The Indonesian government through the Directorate General of Customs and Excise will on Wednesday re-export nine containers of toxic and hazardous waste to Australia.
“Today we will re-export it to its country of origin,” Director General of Customs and Excise Heru Pambudi said at a press conference in Jakarta Wednesday. The Tangerang Customs Office in cooperation with the Environment and Forestry Ministry has taken action against three companies suspected of receiving the toxic and hazardous waste. The three companies have been identified by their initials as PT HI, PT NHI and PT ART.
One of the companies even imported the waste without the required documents, Heru said.
The first investigation was conducted on PT HI which imported 102 containers of plastic sheets and artificial plastic of various kinds. The investigation was jointly conducted by the customs office and the ministry which found 23 containers contaminated by garbage and toxic and hazardous waste.
As a result, the customs office recommended the re-export of 13 containers of hazardous waste to Australia, seven containers to the United States, two to Spain and one to Belgium.
“The remaining 79 containers were declared clean and can be issued usage permits,” he said,
The second measure was conducted on PT NH which imported 138 containers of chips. (mhz)
TAJIKISTAN STRIVES TO BECOME REGIONAL ELECTRICITY EXPORTER
Greatindonesia.co.id, Tajikistan – Tajikistan is eyeing to become a regional electricity exporter after the launch of the second of the six turbines being built at the Rogun hydropower plant on Monday (9/9/2019) local time.
“The electricity generated from the first and second turbines is not only sufficient to cater to the needs of the people of Tajikistan but also for export,” Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon remarked during the launch ceremony of the second unit of the Roghun hydropower plant.
The president noted that the Rogun hydropower plant will not only fulfill the nation’s requirements but also those of the neighboring nations.
To prove his intention to become a regional electricity exporter, Tajikistan invited foreign journalists and reputable international news agencies, including Indonesian News Agency ANTARA, to attend the launch ceremony of the Second Unit of the Roghun hydropower plant.
Prime Minister of Tajikistan Qohir Rasulzoda, Mayor of Dushanbe Rustam Emomali, Director of Roghun Hydropower Plant Khayrullo Safarzoda, and other officials also attended the launch of the second turbine.
“The second turbine being made operational at the celebration of Independence Day is a valuable gift for the people of Tajikistan,” President Rahmon noted in his speech.
The president affirmed that the Rogun hydropower plant was built in line with the international safety standards by involving experts and utilizing the newest technology.
He stressed that development of the energy sector will play a key role in Tajikistan’s sustainable economic growth, particularly to achieve the national goals while accelerating industrialization.
The president also expressed belief that life of the people of Tajikistan will improve several folds.
“The economic capacity of Tajikistan will strengthen and increase significantly,” President Rahmon remarked.
The first turbine was launched in 2018. A total of six turbines are planned for the Rogun dam by 2028, with a total capacity of 3,600 megawatts (MW) or 600 megawatts (MW) per turbine. This installation can produce over 17 billion kilowatt hour (kWh).
The Rogun hydropower plant is supplied by the Rogun Dam located at an altitude of 1,065 meters above sea level.
Currently, the water reserve in the dam reaches 200 million cubic meters. With a water level of 1,058 meters, it is possible to move two turbines. (sgt)
PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE CONTACT, EMERGING FOCUS IN ASEAN-CHINA RELATIONS
Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – People-to people contact and exchanges have become the focus of the relationship between China and ASEAN member countries, as it could provide a more solid foundation for future cooperation, it is believed.
Chinese Ambassador for the ASEAN Huang Xilian made the statement after attending an event called ‘Symposium on China’s Development and a Shared Future Between ASEAN and China’, held in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Tuesday (10/9/2019).
“Traditionally, there are two major pillars between China and ASEAN cooperation. One is political and security and the other one is economy and trade. Now we are strengthening a third very important pillar, that is cultural links and people-to-people exchanges,” he said.
To accomplish that, China is working very closely with ASEAN member countries to propose initiatives that promote more people-to-people exchanges, Huang said.
One of those initiatives was realized with the ASEAN-China Young Leader Scholarship program launched a couple of months ago.
“Through this, we try to bring more young people from ASEAN countries to China, and of course we try to bring more Chinese people to ASEAN to promote mutual understanding,” he said, adding that young people represent the future of the relationship.
There are also other sectors, including tourism, that are still open to be explored to heighten people’s relationships.
The founder of the Foreign Policy Community Indonesia, Dino Patti Djalal, who was also one of the speakers at the symposium, said that people-to-people relations are indeed an important part of the cooperation.
“Not just people-to-people, but there needs to be trust and confidence between people. How does one get to the bottom of the paradigm and promote trust at the people-to-people level?” he said.
He still sees a trust deficit among the people, especially among students and the younger generation, and it needs to improve, he further said.
Overall, ASEAN and China need to develop a soulful partnership that involves genuine feelings as partners that trickle down to the people-level as well, he believed. (acy)
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