World Bulletin / News Desk
The Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, has said he has yet to decide if his country will join the United States-led Pacific trade agreement after his meeting with President Obama at the White House on Monday reports The New York Times.
In an interview before a four-day visit to the US this week, Mr. Joko also said that his government was rapidly stripping away trade regulations that in the past have irritated foreign businesses.
“I’m a businessman,” he said, referring to his job as a furniture exporter before he began his political career as the mayor of his hometown in Central Java. “I know what they want. I know what they need. I want to say that Indonesia is open for investment. Indonesia is open for investors.”
If Indonesia, a G20 member with about a $1 trillion economy, were to join the trade agreement, it would be a windfall for Washington.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, is seen as a bulwark against Chinese influence in the region. Without Indonesia, it would already wrap in two-fifths of the world’s economy, including the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations.
The Indonesian trade minister, Thomas Lembong, has said that Indonesia would be ready to join within two years. He has already expressed concern that the country could fall behind its neighbors who have joined the accord, including Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. The pact must be approved by Congress.
But other members of Mr. Joko’s cabinet, as well as some lawmakers, have expressed pessimism, leaving the Indonesian president with a tough decision.
“After I discuss it with President Obama, I will decide,” Mr. Joko said in the interview on Thursday. “Really. Wait and see.”Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2015, 09:37