By becoming a member of the steering committee, Indonesia would have an opportunity to speak at the panel level.
Kuta, Bali (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian parliament is hoping to become a member of the steering committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization (PCWTO) between 2014 and 2016, which will help the government in multilateral trade negotiations.

"I have lobbied a number of countries in the PCWTO in our quest to become a member of the steering committee" the chairperson of Indonesias ruling Democrat Party faction in the parliament, Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, who is also a member of the Indonesian delegation to the PCWTO, said here on Thursday.

She said by becoming a member of the steering committee, Indonesia would have an opportunity to speak at the panel level.

"All PCWTO decisions are made by the steering committee. Being part of the steering committee will, therefore, greatly benefit us. The WTO has given an opportunity to parliaments to accompany their governments in negotiations. Earlier, parliaments were treated as mere observers," she added.

Nurhayatis presence at the meeting was initially rejected, but since she is a female member of the steering committee of the International Parliament Union (IPU), she was later allowed to speak at the conference, being held from December 2 to 5.

PCWTO has produced a "Bali Outcome" that reiterates the commitment of parliaments to support a transparent and just multilateral trading system based on the principle of non-discrimination.

It also confirms the importance of international trade as a means of encouraging development and emphasizes the importance of harmony between different kinds of trade agreements, such as regional, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.

The Bali Outcome also hopes for progress in various areas, including trade negotiations on goods and environmental issues.

It supports the involvement of developing countries in the process of trade negotiations.

In addition, it hopes the WTO becomes more accommodating of the involvement of parliaments, which should improve transparency in the international trading system.

In the PCWTO, Indonesia has emphasized the idea that all community members have an interest in reaping the benefits of multilateral trade, and presented a platform for developing and less developed countries.

The Indonesian delegation is led by house speaker Marzuki Alie with deputy speaker Priyo Budi Santoso. Surahman Hidayat from the Prosperous Justice Party, Muhammad Prakosa from the Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle, Andi Anshar Cakra Wilaya from the National Mandate Party, Nuhayati Assegaf from the Democrat Party, Edwin Kawilarang from the Golkar Party and Arif Budimanta from the PDIP are other members of the delegation.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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