Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Trade of Indonesia Zulkifli Hasan spotlighted the importance of reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO), in particular, the restoration of function of the appellate body and dispute resolution.

This was conveyed by the trade minister at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in San Francisco, the United States, on Wednesday (Nov 15).

According to Hasan, WTO reform should continue to be encouraged to ensure the success of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.

“This effort can be made by reforming the WTO, in particular, restoring the function of the appellate body and resolving disputes. I am sure that the answer to the challenges we are currently facing is a multilateral trading system that is fairer and more inclusive,” Hasan noted in a written statement from the Trade Ministry In Jakarta, Friday.

Apart from WTO reform, the minister also emphasized the importance of completing negotiations at the WTO that include balanced discussions on agricultural and public stock holding (PSH), fisheries subsidies, intellectual property issues, and e-commerce. He reminded that WTO bears the responsibility to address environmental issues.

"APEC must handle environmental problems fairly and inclusively. We need to ensure that trade policy does not become an instrument of protectionism disguised in the form of environmental concern," he stated.

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Indonesia also agrees with APEC economies that the key to equitable economic growth is ensuring that the benefits of trade and investment can be felt by all groups.

The minister stated that Indonesia views inclusive trade and investment as important, for which the benefits must be felt by all groups.

Furthermore, Indonesia continues to strive to empower women and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the international market, facilitate access to finance, and encourage women-led MSMEs in value-added sectors.

The minister also voiced Indonesia's views on the increasingly deteriorating situation in Gaza. He emphasized that sustainable and inclusive development cannot be separated from humanitarian elements in any part of the world.

"Indonesia is paying the highest (level of) attention to the worsening situation in Gaza and strongly condemns military actions against the people and civilian facilities in Gaza. Violence must stop, a ceasefire must continue to be sought," the minister stated.

The 2023 APEC Ministerial Meeting discussed, among other things, inclusive economic and trade policy steps to provide benefits and encourage a just and equitable future in the Asia-Pacific region.

In this regard, the San Francisco Principles on Integrating Inclusivity and Sustainability into Trade and Investment Policy were discussed that summarized the principles for increasing APEC's efforts in developing sustainable and inclusive trade and investment policies.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia Galuh Prayudhia, Cindy Frishanti Oct
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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