New Indonesian economics minister: Country on track for AEC

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chairulIndonesia’s newly installed chief economics minister Chairul Tanjung made his first foreign appearance at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, promoting Indonesia and pointing out the country’s economic strength.

While all the attention was on Asia’s latest economic darling, the Philippines, Chairul did not miss a beat when reminding those he met that Indonesia remained the largest economy in the region. And the past decade of solid economic growth has positioned the country as the linchpin for the region.

“Indonesia is still growing and with 240 million people, we have more productive people who are economically active than those who are not,” he told the Jakarta Globe. “This allows us to fund our growth which will continue for the next 20 to 30 years.”

When asked if the country is ready for the ASEAN Economic Community, which comes into force in 2015, he replied with a definitive yes.

“We have the largest population in ASEAN and we account for 40 per cent of the ASEAN economy. We have to be ready,” Chairul said.

He added that according to a scoring system adopted by the association’s 10 member countries regarding the readiness of each member state for the AEC, which will herald a common market in the region, Chairul said Indonesia scored a healthy 77 per cent.

“The average score was 70 per cent so we are on track,” he noted. “Between our countries, import tariffs for many goods are already zero but now we have to tackle the non-tariff barriers.”

The AEC will have winners and losers and those economies who join the programme early will be the bigger beneficiaries.

Countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos will benefit less as their economies are less developed.

“But we’re a caring, sharing organization and those who benefit more will share with those who benefit less,” Chairul said. “That is the spirit of ASEAN.”

He added that even with the AEC, individual countries will still have the right to protect those segments of the economy they deem fragile, such as agriculture and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“The business community is ready to join the AEC but we have to socialise our responsibility,” he said. “Not all businessmen understand the benefits of the AEC so we have to work hard to educate them.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Indonesia’s newly installed chief economics minister Chairul Tanjung made his first foreign appearance at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, promoting Indonesia and pointing out the country’s economic strength.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

chairulIndonesia’s newly installed chief economics minister Chairul Tanjung made his first foreign appearance at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, promoting Indonesia and pointing out the country’s economic strength.

While all the attention was on Asia’s latest economic darling, the Philippines, Chairul did not miss a beat when reminding those he met that Indonesia remained the largest economy in the region. And the past decade of solid economic growth has positioned the country as the linchpin for the region.

“Indonesia is still growing and with 240 million people, we have more productive people who are economically active than those who are not,” he told the Jakarta Globe. “This allows us to fund our growth which will continue for the next 20 to 30 years.”

When asked if the country is ready for the ASEAN Economic Community, which comes into force in 2015, he replied with a definitive yes.

“We have the largest population in ASEAN and we account for 40 per cent of the ASEAN economy. We have to be ready,” Chairul said.

He added that according to a scoring system adopted by the association’s 10 member countries regarding the readiness of each member state for the AEC, which will herald a common market in the region, Chairul said Indonesia scored a healthy 77 per cent.

“The average score was 70 per cent so we are on track,” he noted. “Between our countries, import tariffs for many goods are already zero but now we have to tackle the non-tariff barriers.”

The AEC will have winners and losers and those economies who join the programme early will be the bigger beneficiaries.

Countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos will benefit less as their economies are less developed.

“But we’re a caring, sharing organization and those who benefit more will share with those who benefit less,” Chairul said. “That is the spirit of ASEAN.”

He added that even with the AEC, individual countries will still have the right to protect those segments of the economy they deem fragile, such as agriculture and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“The business community is ready to join the AEC but we have to socialise our responsibility,” he said. “Not all businessmen understand the benefits of the AEC so we have to work hard to educate them.”

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