Ministries to focus on regional economic collaboration to boost trade

Ministries to focus on regional economic collaboration to boost trade

Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi at an online press conference on Thursday (October 21, 2021). (ANTARA/TL/Arnidhya Nur Zhafira/my)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi has said that Indonesia is seeking to strengthen regional economic cooperation in an effort to reform trade and encourage integration with the global economy.

The minister delivered the statement at a virtual event themed 'Trade, Tourism, and Investment Forum Reviving Global Trade through Strengthening Regional Economic Partnership'.

“It is expected that this forum can generate discussions on challenges, opportunities, and ideas in the global trade, tourism, and investment sectors. It is also expected that this forum can provide the latest policy developments, information, and strategies for the three sectors," Lutfi said in a statement received in Jakarta on Friday.

Therefore, Indonesia is encouraging and supporting a more open economy, fairer trade, which is mutually beneficial in order to create a better marketplace, he added.

The event was part of a series of events organized at the 36th Trade Expo Indonesia Digital Edition, themed 'Reviving Global Trade'.

The minister opined that policy coherence between trade, investment, and industrial estates would significantly benefit the global economy, particularly economic recovery and development.

"Trade and investment embedded in global and regional value chains is a powerful tool for increasing industrialization, growth, and creating sustainable conditions, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

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He also pointed out that Indonesia is ensuring that international trade and investment can boost global economic recovery effectively. Nowadays, there are many opportunities available to demonstrate the ability to work together for the sake of trade improvement, he pointed out.

“Indonesia will continue to negotiate trade agreements with like-minded (states or countries), both large and small, in an effort to a better position in the global value chain. Currently, the Trade Ministry is in the process of negotiating 23 bilateral and regional trade agreements,” he elaborated.

Meanwhile, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia cited data from the Statistics Indonesia, which shows that the biggest contributors to economic growth have been consumption and investment. Based on the development of the survey results, consumption has stagnated, so that only investment would be encouraged, he noted.

He deemed cooperation between agencies important in accelerating efforts to attract investment. There are three strategies to encourage investment: downstreaming, incentives, and providing alternative industrial estates, as well as granting special rights in the form of incentives to investors who invest outside Java region, he said.

"For downstreaming, such as nickel and reaching other commodities, it is still necessary to enter an industry that has at least 70 percent of added value in Indonesia. As for incentives for industrial areas, such as in Batam, the land is definitely cheaper and the permit will be taken care of by the government," Lahadalia added.
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On the other hand, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the tourism sector and the global creative economy. Foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia fell by 80 percent and Indonesia's creative economy saw negative growth, he noted.

The pandemic is also changing travel styles, he said. It has since brought attention to aspects such as hygiene, low mobility, avoiding crowding, and physical distancing, he added.

“For this reason, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is implementing a fundamental strategy that includes innovation, adaptation, and collaboration. Not only to survive but also to boost recovery to better rebuild Indonesia," he elaborated.

Uno said he is optimistic that Indonesia's tourism and creative economy would recover and grow. Five super-priority destinations are being developed to both attract tourists and serve as an encouragement to boost the creative economy of the local community, he added.
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