"AEC 2015 will be a pivotal moment for Indonesia to face opportunity as well as challenge. In preparation for the AEC 2015, the government is prioritizing nine industrial sectors for the ASEAN market," the minister said.
To be the goal of regional economic integration by 2015, the AEC envisages the key characteristics of a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.
The AEC areas of cooperation include human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC.
In short, the AEC will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.
According to Hidayat, the nine industrial sectors to be developed are agro-based industry such as CPO, cocoa and rubber; fish processing industry, TPT, footwear, leather and leather products, furniture industry, drink and beverage industry, fertilizer and petrochemical industry, machinery, and basic steel industry.
"Those industrial sectors are on top priority to be developed because they have better competitiveness than those from other countries in the region," he said.