The Jakarta Post
The world's largest Muslim country, Indonesia, has managed to convince other ASEAN member countries to keep an import tax on alcohol beverages entering the region.
After hearing Indonesia's proposal, trade ministries from ASEAN countries agreed on Saturday to include alcoholic beverages in ASEAN's General Exception List that mentions products excluded from the tax exemption policy for reasons of national security and public morals.
Indonesia's achievement was announced by Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong after attending a recent ASEAN Free Trade Area meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
'This success is part of the government's effort to protect Indonesian culture and moral values from the negative impact of alcoholic beverages,' Thomas said in a press statement quoted by kompas.com on Monday.
The policy to impose import taxes on alcoholic beverages in ASEAN, Thomas said, was inline with the 2015 Trade Ministry Regulation on the procurement, distribution and the sale of alcoholic beverages in Indonesia.
Apart from alcoholic drinks, the meeting also agreed to include rice and sugar in ASEAN's general exception list after hearing Indonesia's argument saying that the two commodities were strategic and sensitive for the country. (edn/ika)(++++)