India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma raised the issue of restrictive regime on imports of textiles, during a meeting with Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan. Mr. Sharma was accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his two-day visit to Indonesia.
In response to Mr. Sharma’s raising the issue, “The Indonesian Minister assured a constructive review of its policy,” an official statement said.
Last year, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade issued new regulations aimed at achieving greater supervision of imports, attracting more investments and fastening industrial development in the country.
The new policy, which came into effect from May 1, 2013, restricts a general importer, which includes retailers, form importing finished products from the same category, for example textiles and textile products.
The regulations restrict large-format retail stores from importing more than one category of items, which not only creates problems for some retailers, but also creates restrictions on imports from other countries.
During the meeting, both Ministers felt the need for initiating negotiations on bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) to implement the decision taken by leaders of both countries two years ago. Both Ministers decided to meet in December 2013 for the Bilateral Trade and Industry Ministers’ Forum.
In a joint statement issued by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the growing trade and investment ties between India and Indonesia and expressed confidence in achieving the bilateral trade target of US$ 25 billion by 2015.
They welcomed the commitment of ASEAN and India during the meeting of the 11th ASEAN Economic Minister-India Consultations in Brunei in August 2013 to sign the ASEAN-India Trade-in-ServicesAgreement and ASEAN-India Investment Agreement and noted that following up on that commitment, the Agreements would be signed on the sidelines of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali from December 3-6, 2013.
The leaders directed an early launch of negotiations on an India-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) that would build upon the ASEAN-India FTA by bringing more depth and coverage.
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