Jokowi discuss opportunities, threats of US-China trade war

Jokowi discuss opportunities, threats of US-China trade war

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita (ANTARA/Satyagraha/aa)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Some economic ministers met President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to furnish details on the G20 meeting concluded last weekend in Japan and discuss opportunities and threats for Indonesia in the face of the US-China trade war.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, and Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly were among those meeting the president along with Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo, Financial Services Authority (OJK) Chairman Wimboh Santoso, and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Head Thomas Lembong.

"We received instructions from the president on how to address it (trade war), both in terms of the threat and economic growth. (We see) its impacts but at the same time what opportunities it presents," Trade Minister Lukita remarked after a meeting with President Jokowi at the State Palace, Jakarta, on Thursday.

Lukita opined that several goods and commodities can be exported to the United States by reiterating the principle of free and fair trade on the basis of reciprocity.

"We should able to see what we can buy from there (the US) since if we only export to the United States, there is a widening deficit," Lukita cautioned.

The minister pointed to Indonesia's current trade surplus with the United States reaching US$12.6 billion.

In the meantime, a decline in exports from China to the United States poses a threat in the form of these Chinese goods flowing into Indonesia. Hence, Lukita has invited Indonesians to continue to opt for Indonesian products.

Nonetheless, he also perceives the opportunity for Indonesian products to be exported to China, specifically for horticultural commodities, such as coffee.

Such opportunity is backed by a change in the lifestyle of Chinese youngsters, who currently prefer coffee to tea.

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