Bringing together previous trade ministers, Minister Enggar to discuss latest trade issues

A number of trade ministers as well as Indonesian deputy trade ministers of the past period met at the trade ministry office on Monday (03/11/2019). Also present were Mari Elka Pangestu, Gita Wirjawan, Bayu Krisnamurthi, Rahardi Ramelan, Muhammad Lutfi and Arifin Siregar.

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said the meeting was held in the form of Focus group discussion (FGD) aims to ask for contributions, so that Indonesian trade can increase.

Currently, the economy is facing challenges both nationally and globally. Based on BPS data, Indonesia’s economic growth over the past five years has stood at around 5 percent.

In 2015, economic growth was 4.79%, then continued to grow positively until the highest level was reached in 2018, namely 5.17%. This is an achievement amid the dynamics of global economic problems such as the volatility of global commodity prices, the financial crisis that has hit a number of developing countries such as Turkey and Argentina , and the trade war between the United States and China.

This positive trend in national economic growth is influenced by a number of factors, including the continued positive growth of non-oil and gas exports and overall contained inflation, especially during the fast month and Eid.
However, it must be admitted that the positive growth of non-oil and gas exports over the past three years has not been able to improve Indonesia’s non-oil and gas trade surplus. The pressure on the trade balance is influenced by a number of external and internal factors, including the still uncertain global economic conditions, the slowdown in economic growth in major export destination countries such as China and the high rate of growth of imports.

The focus group was part of the Ministry of Commerce (Raker) working meeting held from March 12 to 13, 2019 on the theme “Increasing added value and competitive trade”.
“I invited previous trade ministers to seek their advice on the development of international trade and the internal market,” Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita told the office of the Ministry of Commerce on Monday (03/11/2019) .

The meeting was used by the Ministry of Commerce to hear various contributions and views from ministers of trade during the previous period. This input will be one of the valuable ingredients of the Ministry of Commerce working meeting (Raker) to formulate regulations to increase Indonesia’s trade competitiveness.

“Continue to improve competitiveness. Don’t look at deficits just by numbers. High imports of raw materials and capital goods are a sign that investment and development are progressing. Where the results will be appreciated later. Said Arifin Siregar.

Another contribution was made by Rahardi Ramelan, who asked the Ministry of Commerce to pay special attention to changes in the law on business competition, as the current situation of companies has changed drastically depending on the implementation of the regional autonomy.

During the FGD, Mari Elka said that the remit of the Ministry of Commerce was very broad. From the international market to the overflowing market. For this reason, it has helped to ensure that the policy instruments of the Ministry of Commerce can be used, such as non-tariff barriers.

Another contribution was forwarded by Gita Wirjawan, who reminded Indonesia that the possibility of relocating and moving businessmen abroad in various countries is being used and seized by Indonesia. Meanwhile, Bayu Krisnamurthi said he wants to maximize and evaluate various trade attachés and ask the private sector to cooperate more closely to photograph every business opportunity.

As a ministry that links the production and market sectors, the Ministry of Commerce plays a key role in finding a balance between supply and demand. Therefore, the Ministry of Commerce acts as a navigator or captain of the national economy to achieve a balance between supply and demand.

The Ministry of Commerce will continue to strengthen Indonesia’s position on the regional and world trade map and participate in the direction of world trade for the benefit of Indonesia.

In accordance with the mandate of the 1945 Constitution, the development of commercial activities must be inclusive in which all levels of Indonesian society must be able to benefit from trade, both as consumers and producers or as commercial actors.

At the same time, such inclusive trade development cannot be achieved in a vacuum as national borders are increasingly blurred and, as a result, the flow of goods, services and investments between countries is increasing. and faster. In such a situation, competitiveness is the key not only to effectively develop inclusive trade development, but also to position Indonesia even more strongly on the increasingly borderless world trade map.

“We will set various input materials in the goals, at the trade ministry working meeting, which will be held from tomorrow,” Enggar said.

On the occasion of the FGD, Mari Elka presented a number of ways to improve food management. Among other things, better data must be available. In terms of domestic needs and consumption.

This way the government has an accurate calculation of food needs. Including the time of importing food. Therefore, do not view imports as haram but to supplement national needs. In addition, the distribution system needs to be improved to make it more efficient so that food prices do not become expensive.

“An efficient domestic distribution and logistics system so that the price of oranges from Kalimantan to Jakarta does not exceed the price of oranges from China. Distribution and the role of the market are therefore the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce. Then the standards of So that we have a better product and a better price, which can compete with international prices, ”said Mari Elka.

According to him, the benefits of international trade agreements are not limited to the exemption or reduction of import and export tariffs. The investments will also come in line with the signing of the trade agreement.

Mari Elka said at the meeting that former trade ministers not only provided notes, but also appreciated Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita. One of the appreciations received by Minister of Commerce Enggar relates to the conclusion of a number of international agreements during his tenure as Minister of Commerce.

“We all congratulated Pak Enggar because there were many international trade agreements that we entered into but which were not concluded during the Pak Enggar era,” he said.

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