Indonesia still considering participating in CPTPP: Ambassador
Updated at Monday, 09 Jul 2018, 12:36
The Hanoitimes - Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi highlights prominence in diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Indonesia.
Indonesian side is still in the process of researching and considering the benefits of participating in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi told Hanoitimes in an interview.
- As the Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, can you tell me some of highlights prominence in diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Indonesia?
Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi.
In recent years, I think the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Indonesia has achieved many achievements. Firstly, economically, bilateral trade reaches US$6.8 billion in 2017 and up to 16% over 2016. In terms of investment, in 2017, the amount of investment also increased US$500 million.
Secondly, regarding the political and security field, I find that the two countries have very good development. On the national defense, the two countries have many military, naval and air exchange programs.
Thirdly, in terms of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, there are many Indonesian universities coming to Vietnam to seek cooperation, etc.
The remarkable achievement was the official visit to Indonesia by General Secretary of the Communist Party Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017, which is also a high-level visit from Vietnam after many years since the visit of late President Ho Chi Minh to Indonesia.
- When will the official visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Vietnam take place, Ambassador?
Regarding the Indonesian President's visit to Vietnam, the two sides are currently in the process of discussions and we hope that this visit will take place this year. And if it does, it will be the first state visit of the sitting Indonesian President to Vietnam.
I hope that the visit will help strengthen the link between Indonesia and Vietnam, such as opening a direct flight from Hanoi to Jakarta. In addition, before the visit takes place about one to two days, we will hold a meeting between Indonesian and Vietnamese enterprises. Hopefully, the two sides can sign cooperation agreements to be able to announce during the visit.
- Promoting cooperation in the field of economics - trade is one of the top priorities in the strategic partnership between the two countries. The two countries strive to increase bilateral trade to US$10 billion by 2018. What do we need to do to achieve this goal, Sir?
The goal of raising bilateral trade between Vietnam and Indonesia to US$10 billion in 2018 has been revised by the two countries to be extended to 2020.
As the Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, my important task is promoting trade relations and bilateral exchanges between the two countries. I think the two countries need to focus on a number of key items. For example, Indonesia is interested in seafood products, which are also the strength of Vietnam, while Vietnam is developing the automobile industry, motorcycle production and this is the strength of Indonesia. Therefore, we are always ready to support Vietnamese enterprises to develop supporting industries in this sector.
In addition, we also encourage Indonesian companies to participate in trade fairs in Vietnam. In 2016, the Embassy of Indonesia and VINEXAD co-organized the Vietnam Expo in Ho Chi Minh City, in 2017 the same event was held in Danang during the APEC summit.
Vice versa, the Indonesian side also hopes that Vietnamese enterprises will actively participate in the trade fair named Trade Expo Indonesia, which is held in Indonesia every year. I think these are the projects that will help to achieve the bilateral trade target of US$10 billion in 2020.
- Vice President Jusuf Kalla recently revealed that Indonesia is studying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and has a view to access this trade agreement. What is your comment about this information?
Regarding this information, first of all I would like to emphasize, the concern for the CPTPP was announced by the Indonesian President in 2014 and the Vice President just reaffirmed that concern of Indonesia. However, the Indonesian side is still in the process of researching and considering the benefits of participating in CPTPP.
In my opinion, participation in CPTPP has many benefits, participating in large markets such as CPTPP helps Indonesia expand the market. However, we also need to investigate which areas are strong enough to compete and which areas Indonesia will find difficult to participate in CPTPP. Currently, among ASEAN countries, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei are in the CPTPP, and Thailand and the Philippines are also considering, so it is not beyond Indonesia's ability to participate in this agreement.
Thank you very much!