JAKARTA, 6 September 2021
More than 100 participants from the Indonesian private sector, among others, representatives from the Indonesian Business Women Association (Ikatan Wanita Pengusaha Indonesia/IWAPI), Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kamar Dagang dan Industri Indonesia/KADIN Indonesia), ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Indonesia, European Business Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (EuroCham Indonesia), Indonesian Employers Association (Asosiasi Pengusaha Indonesia/APINDO), SME business owners and many other trade associations and business organizations in Indonesia, attended an outreach event on the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR, available at https://atr.asean.org) and the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST, available at https://assist.asean.org/) on 6 September 2021. The event was organized by the EU-funded programme ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the European Union (ARISE Plus), in partnership and collaboration with IWAPI, and held virtually.
“Private sector engagement is a key driver to regional economic integration and also important for purposes of gender equality – women’s participation in the economy is essential for sustainable development and economic growth,” said Mr. Thibaut Portevin, Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Indonesia and ASEAN. He added that enhancement of trade facilitation and private sector engagement are high priorities in the EU’s assistance to ASEAN. He encouraged the Indonesian private sector, especially SMEs, to take full advantage of these two primary tools of ASEAN public-private cooperation and trade facilitation.
Mr. Bernardino Vega, Deputy Chairman for International Relations, KADIN Indonesia, and Chairman of the ASEAN-BAC Indonesia, stated that “The ASEAN Business Advisory Council is fully supportive of the ATR and ASSIST to strengthen the intra-ASEAN trade facilitation, considering that private sector inclusivity is essential in developing regional economic integration. Through effective usage of the platforms, it is hoped that solutions can be found for existing Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs). We encourage businesses to make the most of the platforms to strengthen the public-private partnership”.
Ms. Nita Yudi, Chairwoman of IWAPI and Chairperson of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) 2021-2023, said “I believe that this event is conducted very timely in the midst of the global pandemic as the role and contribution of women is an important factor in facing various challenges in efforts to recover, reform and transform the economy. AWEN as a network of women entrepreneurs in the ASEAN region with a mission to promote economic and trade initiatives in order to improve gender equality, empower and strengthen entrepreneurial skills and create an environment that supports businesses led by women in the region, will benefit greatly from these two trade facilitation tools developed by ASEAN with support from the EU through the ARISE Plus Regional Project. IWAPI, as the AWEN focal point for Indonesia and the largest and oldest business women association in the country, is highly committed to empowering Indonesian women-owned and -led businesses, which are still underrepresented in regional and international trade”. She thanked the EU and ARISE Plus on the ATR and ASSIST initiatives, which will contribute in tackling barriers to trade that affect SMEs, especially women entrepreneurs, in ASEAN countries.
This Outreach Event will be followed by the ‘ASSIST Train-the-Trainers Workshop’ on 7-8 September 2021. This training workshop is designed to benefit and help participants to develop, organize and deliver training modules on how to use ASSIST. Participants of the training workshop are expected to become trainers and conduct future capacity building exercises on ASSIST to the benefit of their Indonesian colleagues, members of their trade associations/business organizations, and fellow entrepreneurs.
The ARISE Plus Regional Project and the EU remain committed to supporting the effective implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) through improved transparency and trade facilitation, by assisting ASEAN to advance the development of the ATR in all ASEAN Member States. The ARISE Plus Regional Project will also remain available to work with the private sector to advance ASSIST by holding regular outreach and awareness creation events and training of trainers, in cooperation with the respective private sector stakeholders, gearing towards greater intra-ASEAN trade and regional economic integration.