The Jakarta Post
Viriya Paramita Singgih
The government must prepare local businesspeople before joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), otherwise the trade pact may prove disastrous for the business sector, experts say.
The TPP is a US-sponsored trade agreement between Pacific Rim countries aimed at rebalancing their strategic strength over global trade and the economy. They currently cover 40 percent of the global economy.
However, the agreement could handicap local businesspeople if they are not prepared, Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) senior researcher Iman Sugema said on Tuesday.
“We have to focus on our main export products that have real competitiveness. The partnership means we will be open for competition, but we will only be the ‘victim-partner’ if we don’t prepare,” he said in Jakarta.
The US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Chile have signed the TPP agreement and are currently ratifying the agreements in their respective countries.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed his intention to join the TPP during a meeting with US President Barrack Obama at the White House last October.
Meanwhile, economist Ine Minara S. Ruky questioned Indonesia’s preparedness ahead of such a trade partnership.
“We will probably just be another market for TPP members [to sell their products],” she said in an interview on March 2. (vps/ags)
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