Monday, 15 Safar 1441 / 14 October 2019

Monday, 15 Safar 1441 / 14 October 2019

Minister: Vietnam is biggest threat for Indonesia in textile sector

Jumat 09 Oct 2015 20:33 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

Thomas Lembong

Thomas Lembong

Foto: Republika/Agung Supriyanto

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Trade Minister Thomas T. Lembong said on Friday that Vietnam would pose the biggest threat and competition to Indonesia in the textile and shoe industry after that country joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"Indeed, Vietnam Singapore and Malaysia have joined the TPP but the biggest threat for us would be Vietnam. We could say that Vietnam will be our direct competitor," he said at a familiarization of investment special desk set up for the textile and shoe industry.

He said through the TPP, the 12 member countries led by the United States, could come to control 40 percent of the global market.

Competition with Vietnam would be tighter because the country has also already settled its free trade negotiations with the European Union, the minister pointed out.

"So Vietnam would be able access more markets in Europe, which are bigger than the United States because they consist of more than 20 countries. Their first deal is already worth almost US$20 trillion. We have indeed been left behind," Thomas said.

He added that Vietnam would certainly benefit as it would be able to access Europe, as well as the United States that has strong buying power at zero tariff.

President Joko Widodo hoped Indonesia would be able to join the group during the next two years.

"We consider the development very seriously. We have also prepared ourselves to fight. The President is aware of the situation," Minister Thomas stated.

While launching a labor intensive investment program to create jobs at PT Adis Dimension Footwear in Jalan Serang Km 24, Balaraja Barat, Tangerang, Banten on Monday, President Widodo said the biggest problems facing the country's industries are wage and free trade.

He vowed that within two years' time at the most, the FTA barriers would be settled. "At the most, within two years these could be settled. We have indeed been late, but we believed that in two years' time, our products could compete in Europe and the United States," he said.

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