Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita drew attention to the fact that Indonesia’s sluggish stance to explore trade deals had cost it heavily owing to it losing market shares in some countries.

Lukita noted that Vietnam and Malaysia had made faster moves to strike trade deals, whereas Indonesia had only followed suit in the past decade.

"Take Malaysia, for instance. We have lost (the competition) to Malaysia to capture the markets in Turkey and India. It is since it (Malaysia) has already struck trade deals," the minister remarked following a discussion on CEO Connect-Exploring ASEAN here on Monday.

Vietnam and Malaysia are able to enjoy lower tariffs owing to the trade deals, and as a result, Indonesian commodities are unable to compete in the markets.

Lukita noted that Indonesia was eyeing to conclude some trade negotiations this year, including the Indonesia-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Indonesia will also penetrate new markets in Africa following the inking of the Indonesia-Mozambique Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

Lukita pointed out that this will be the first bilateral agreement between Indonesia and an African country, adding that Mozambique will serve as a hub for Indonesian exports to African nations.

In addition to Mozambique, the government will ink trade agreements with Tunis and Morocco in 2019.Related news: Australia expects free trade deals this year with Indonesia, Hong Kong

Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2019