ISD Facilitates the Ministry of Trade RI to Organize the Workshop about Services Negotiation

Jakarta, 5 August 2016

ISD Facilitates the Ministry of Trade RI to Organize the Workshop about Services Negotiation

Jakarta, August 5, 2016. “Potential will only be potential if we don’t know how to sell our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. When it comes to negotiating with other countries, the Government, especially the key negotiators, need sufficient knowledge on how to maximize the national key sectors in services,” stated Wahyuni Bahar, Founder of Bahar & Partners and ISD Board of Founders, in his welcoming remarks at the Workshop Modalitas Liberalisasi Jasa (Modality of Services Liberalization).

Since international negotiations on services sectors are very important to help the key players exporting their services, ISD facilitates the Ministry of Trade Republic of Indonesia to present this workshop. In-depth knowledge is imperative because different approaches will bring different consequences. For example, if Indonesia uses the Negative-List Approach, there will be no limitation or restriction for foreign services providers. Using the same approach, it will be followed by the Non-Conforming Measures and the Reservation List in the Annex of the negotiation documents.

“There are four things to consider before we choose the approach that we use in international negotiations on services: preferences of economic policy, strategies of diplomacy and negotiation, ambition level of the liberalization, and readiness of regulatory framework,” said Nurhafia Sura Anterdja, FTA Legal Adviser, the Ministry of Trade Republic of Indonesia.

“The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) has sent the proposed Reservation List using the Positive-List Approach to 24 ministries/government agencies in April and June 2016. The Government is still unclear about identifying Measures, that if we remain unclear, we might lose a chance to take benefit from the negotiation,” explained Fritz Horas Silalahi, Director of Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation, BKPM.

According to Fritz, local regulations in a big country like Indonesia could possibly make the discussion about Measures very complex. In a practical level, Achmad Shauki, Senior Economist in the area of Trade and Competitiveness, AIPEG, reminds the participants that different approaches of negotiation will support or in contrary avoid particular sectors to export its potentials.

“The thing we should admit is that Indonesia has not been utilizing the potential of medical tourism. Most of Indonesian, who decided to go overseas to Malaysia or Singapore, mentioned that higher quality of treatment and technology were the main reason why they chose Malaysia and Singapore. In our domestic market, many shortages exist in the health-related services, especially about the readiness to export,” underlined Achmad Shauki.

“To help Indonesia’s services sectors in exporting, we need to involve in a healthy and productive modality in the international negotiation. We need to choose wisely whether we use Positive List, Negative List or Hybrid Approaches,” added Achmad Shauki.