Indonesian textile makers seek EU, Trans-Pacific partnerships

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-02-17 15:53:00 – Jakarta

Indonesian textile and garment makers are pushing the government to join a greater economic partnership with European and Pacific Rim countries in order to boost the country’s exports by taking part in the two international trade pacts.

Anne Patricia Sutanto, deputy CEO of garment manufacturer PT Pan Brothers, said that she expected that that the government would stay committed to joining comprehensive partnerships with the EU and US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

She added that they want assurance for their buyers that Indonesia will stay consistent with its free trade agreement [FTA] with Europe, or possibly become a member of the TPP.

Further, FTA with the EU and the TPP would expedite her firm’s expansion project since the demand would presumably boost from the partnerships’ participating countries, she added.

Ade Sudrajat, the chairman of Indonesian Textile Association (API), said that his association basically welcomed any partnerships with other countries as long as they helped reduce both tariff and non-tariff barriers for Indonesian textile products.

Trade Minister Thomas Lembong said previously that his ministry would focus on speeding up talks on the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a bilateral agreement with Australia and a partnership with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (European Free Trade Association) this year.

The government has also expressed its intention to join the TPP once it has concluded talks on the Indonesia-EU CEPA.

The textile industry was one of the sectors that was most ready to compete under free trade arrangements, said the Industry Ministry’s director for textiles, leather, footwear and various industries, Muhdori.

According to Industry Ministry data, Indonesia’s textile exports gradually increased from $11.2 billion in 2010 to an estimated $22.65 billion last year, with imports value always below exports value.

Industry experts say that Vietnam’s share of the US apparel import market could go up from 10 percent to 35 percent once the TPP is implemented.

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