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Jakarta Post

US ambassador, ministers meet to discuss bilateral trade

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam, Riau Islands   /   Tue, July 10, 2018   /   09:48 am
US ambassador, ministers meet to discuss bilateral trade US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan Jr. and Riau Islands Governor Nurdin Basirun attend a celebration for US Independence Day in Batam, Riau Islands, on July 9. (JP/Fadli)

US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan Jr. has said that he has talked to a number of Indonesian ministers about 124 Indonesian products listed in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

“What we are doing is to increase trade with Indonesia, both exports and imports,” said Donovan at Hotel Best Western Panbil in Batam, Riau Islands, on Monday evening on the sidelines of a celebration for US Independence Day.

“The important thing is that we work together to increase trade and economic ties between the two countries. I spoke today to a number of ministers. […] I believe there is much we can do together.”

Previously, Sofjan Wanandi, an expert staff member to Vice President Jusuf Kalla, said President Donald Trump had warned the government about Indonesia’s trade surplus with the world’s largest economy.

Trade Minister Enggartiasto said the country was reviewing how Indonesia benefited from export tariff cuts through the GSP. Roughly 10 percent of Indonesian products would be affected if the US went ahead with its plan to remove 124 products from the system, he added.

Indonesia has consistently recorded a trade surplus with the US. In 2017, its trade surplus was $9.67 billion, 9.89 percent higher than the $8.84 billion surplus recorded in 2016. From 2013 to 2017, Indonesia’s surplus grew at a rate of 8.47 percent per year. (bbn)