RI proposes working group on trade problems resolution with China

Shanghai (Antara News) - Indonesia proposed on Tuesday the formation of a working group on trade problems resolution under the aegis of the Indonesia-China Joint Commission as an official forum for the two countries to discuss a wide range of trade and investment issues.

"Since trade and investment relations between the two countries continue to increase, we propose the formation of a working group under the aegis of the Joint Commission," visiting Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said on the sidelines of the 9th Joint Commission meeting between Indonesia and China here Tuesday.

The meeting was also attended by Chinese Trade Minister Bo Xilai, Indonesian Ambassador to China Sudrajat and hundreds of businessmen from the two countries.

Mari said technical problems, both in the trade and investment fields, would always arise from any bilateral economic relations.

But all the problems could be resolved in the spirit of cooperation and partnership, she said.

The working committee may discuss such issues as quality, food product security, and illegal shipment of products, she said.

"The working committee is important to help the two countries achieve the projected total trade value of US$30 billion by 2010 under the strategic partnership," she said.

She said the two nations hailed the results of September 5`s technical meeting which among others agreed on a systematic and comprehensive mechanism of settling issues related to food security and quality.

On Indonesian aquatic products` access to the Chinese market, she said her office had conveyed information to China on the quality control of Indonesian aquatic products and invited Chinese experts to visit Indonesia to see the system for themselves.

She said she also had sent the Chinese officials the results of a study conducted by a US firm on the quality control of Indonesian aquatic products.

"That`s why Indonesia hopes that China will lift its temporary import ban on Indonesian aquactic products," she said.

Official data show that trade between Indonesia and China grows by an average of 20 percent per year. The two nations have set themselves the target of reaching a bilateral trade value of US$30 billion by 2010.

Two-way trade between the two countries reached US$14.98 billion in 2006 with Indonesia enjoying a surplus of US$1.70 billion.

In the first five months of 2007, Indonesia`s exports to China reached US$3.71 billion, while its imports from China stood at US$3.26 billion. (*)
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