For many years, very low priced industrial products made in China, starting from toys, garments, electronics, motor vehicles, have been dominating the Indonesian markets.
According to The Jakarta Globe, starting 1 January 2010, domination by Chinese products will become more worst, because 6,682 of them shall be able to be imported free of duties.
This is part of the pact between 10 member countries of the South East Asian Nations and the Chinese government in November 2002 that agreed to gradually scrap import duties on a wide number of products by 2012.
In response, Airlangga Hartarto of the House of Representative said that domestic producers would be difficult to compete as the Chinese industry was well-integrated from production to distribution in a very efficient way.
While Hidayat Triseputro of the Indonesian Iron & Steel Industry Association (IISA), said eliminating import duties on Chinese goods would allow China to practice what he called a form of “market colonialism.”
However, Rachmat Gobel of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), and head of PT Panasonic Gobel, said that with the Pact, we can hope that illegal imports would be minimized because they threaten our local industries.
However, the Minister of Industry M. Hidayat said that ready or not, we have to proceed with the deal, because we have very little time to renegotiate, and 6 (including Indonesia) out of the 10 ASEAN members have accepted the deal.
Considering that the very cheap Chinese products already beaten Indonesian products, causing many local factories to close down and layoff thousand workers, allowing more of those products to enter without import duties would endanger many more industries and their workerss.
Due to these frightening facts, I hope that the government would reconsider once again and renegotiate the time for Indonesia to carry out the above deal.