Negative Investment List disadvantageous to RI: EU envoy

Jakarta (Antara News) - European Union (EU) Ambassador to Indonesia Jean Breteche said the Negative Investment List (DNI) now being prepared by the government would disadvatage Indonesia because it restricted the entry of foreign investment.

"If over protected, Indonesia will become a closed state. You will never get the benefit of foreign investment and technologies," he said on the sidelines of a seminar on Public-Private Partnership here on Tuesday.

He said Indonesia must be careful in restricting cooperation between foreign companies and the government.

Breteche acknowledged he still did not yet know which sectors of the Indonesian economy must not be closed to foreigners, saying he would look at the regulations on the matter first.

Asked about the possibility of the European Union concluding a free trade agreement with Indonesia, Breteche said the European Union would submit a proposal on the matter to the Indonesian government.

He said such a proposal would be submitted not only to Indonesia but also to other members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"We will begin holding negotiations but it will be a long process because it needs a lot of discussions," he said.

He said economic conditions in one ASEAN member country differed from those in another so that the EU would make proposals tailored to the specific characteristics of each of them.

"Conditions in ASEAN member countries are not the same. It is different in Europe. European countries have reached the same level of develpment but in ASEAN, between Laos and Brunei, Myanmar and the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia, conditions are quite different so that it is not easy to have negotiations," he added.

On the continuation of the World Trade Organization talks, Breteche said the European Union had no objection to cutting its agricultural subsidies in order to allow the entry of exports from developing countries.

"But it has to be carried out together because the Eurepean Union is not alone in the market," he added.(*)
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