ERIA Hosts the First ERIA-AmCham Briefing Series, Discusses Non-Tariff Measures
Jakarta, 13 July 2018: The American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (AmCham Indonesia) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) have partnered up to hold a series of briefings on economic issues in ASEAN that affect the private sector. On 13 July, ERIA hosted the first of these briefings on ‘Addressing Non-Tariff Measures in FTAs and RTAs’.
Dr Doan Thi Thanh Ha, Economist at ERIA, presented a brief overview of Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and how governments, academia, and the private sector perceive them. Dr Ha highlighted the ERIA/UNCTAD project that collected and classified non-tariff measures (NTMs) in the ten ASEAN countries. She also addressed the challenges in ASEAN countries, such as lack of transparency, difficulty of assessment, and regulatory divergence. Dr Ha expressed hope in increasing NTMs’ transparency, reducing barriers, and harmonising standards across ASEAN nations.
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with Dr Ha; Mr Nararya Soeprapto, the Head of Government Relations at Procter & Gamble Indonesia; and Mr Brasukra Gumilang Sudjana, Senior Officer on Trade Facilitation at the ASEAN Secretariat. The panel was moderated by Dr Timothy Buehrer, Chief of Party at Nathan Associates Inc. The panelists stressed the importance of involving the private sector in conversations about the objectives that NTMs serve, the extent to which they are protectionist, and whether they can promote foreign investment and help domestic companies.
Mr Soeprapto shared his company’s experience on the time-consuming and difficult process of obtaining licenses and certifications for consumer goods through different Indonesian ministries, but positively remarked how much the process has improved. Mr Sudjana spoke about knowledge as the key to understanding NTMs: sharing information across ASEAN nations and the private sector, expanding ASEAN initiatives on transparency, and improving notification and review processes are essential to bridging the gap on NTMs between policymakers and the private sector.
The conversation was multidisciplinary and engaging. Key organisations from both the public and private sectors commented and asked provocative questions.
Click here to access the ASEAN/East Asia NTM Database.