Ref. Ares(2019)1598515 - 10/03/2019
Meeting report Indonesian Vice Minister for Trade with De Gucht Cabinet
Brussels, 26 April 2010
Indonesian Vice Minister for Trade, Mr Mahendra Siregar met with Commissioner De
Gucht's Chief of Staff Marc Vanheukelen. Marjut Hannonen from the Cabinet and 4.1(b)
from DG Trade were also present.
Vice Minister Siregar, who is in Europe to accompany a business mission (mainly in the field
of textiles, palm oil and cocoa) and to attend promotional events at Harrods in London,
presented an optimistic picture of the recent economic developments in Indonesia (economy
very resilient in 2009 and picking up again (+6%) in 2010). This was due to the combination
of a strong domestic demand and improved export opportunities thanks to the increased
diversification in term of markets and products range.
He also confirmed his credentials of being close to business circles and a strong supporter of
the synergies between public sector and industry and expressed the view that business should
be supported technically and financially by the Government.
The Commissioner's Head of Cabinet made clear that there is a strong interest for the EU to
improve the relations with ASEAN as a region and with in particular Indonesia (the largest
economy in the region). The approach that is being followed is to develop a network of
ambitious bilateral trade agreements and this is also offered to Indonesia. At the same time, it
is important that the G20 pledge to keep market open is kept by everybody in particular in
these difficult times when protectionist attitudes are resurfacing. In addition, the there is a
strong interest in Europe to a stable and more predictable regulatory environment to foster the
investment climate. However, some measures recently taken by the government go in a
different direction and are also incompatible with the international obligations of Indonesia.
Moreover, when it comes to partners like the EU, as tariff protection is
already very low, the negotiations should be very comprehensive and tackle in particular the
technical obstacles to trade.
4.1(a) and 4.1(b)