JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Ministers Council again held the 32nd annual routine meeting in a series of Ministerial meetings ASEAN Economy in Singapore. This meeting discussed issues of deepening ASEAN economic integration in the field trade in goods.
ASEAN has agreed issuing self-certification mechanism for certified exporters, both producer and trader. The mechanism endorsed by the AFTA Council Ministers by signing an Amendment Agreement Enforcement of Independent Certification in ASEAN. Its expected this self-certification can be enjoyed by businesses in exporting the product in 2019.
“The implementation of this Self-Certification will encourage the birth of new exporters Certified in ASEAN including in Indonesia because its export products can enjoy 0 percent tariff in other ASEAN member countries. This means that the national industry will growing in response to increasing demand, and in turn Indonesia’s exports so that Indonesia’s export volume is expected to increase significant, “said Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita in written statement on Thursday (30/08).
In addition to self-certification, other trade facilitation is also and continues to be developed by ASEAN like the ASEAN Single Window (ASW), ASEAN Trade Repository and ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade to facilitate the flow of trade in goods at ASEAN in order to encourage the expansion of ASEAN 2025 economic integration.
Furthermore, The AFTA Council Minister also endorsed the Guidelines for Reducing Non-Tariff Barriers in ASEAN member countries. AFTA Council Minister’s Mandate to reduce trade transaction costs at ASEAN by 10 percent in 2020.
In the meeting, Enggartiasto also encouraged other ASEAN member countries to immediately build a National Single Window that 10 ASEAN member countries. With full implementation, he added, ASW will resolve the problem of physical evidence of preference documents, facilitate implementation self-certification operations and further can be developed to ASEAN partner countries others, for example in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
At the 32nd AFTA Council meeting, the minister also succeeded in convincing member countries ASEAN regarding Indonesia’s position to maintain alcoholic beverages as a product which market access is not opened and still place it in General Exception List in ASEAN. This is continuously discussed and urged by ASEAN member countries to Indonesia and Malaysia in ATIGA negotiations since 2007.
“Until now the reduction of non-tariff barriers for alcoholic drinks cannot be implemented because it has a social impact as well affect the health of the Indonesian people. Indonesia asks ASEAN to consider resolving this issue not economically as stipulated in ATIGA, but politically, considering this has been protracted,” he stated.
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