30 July 2020
373 participants from the public and private sector (i.e., primarily representatives of business or trade associations and local enterprises, government officials from ministries/institutions, as well as academia, attended an outreach event on the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) for Trade in Services. The webinar was organized by Ministry of Trade of Indonesia and the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) Plus Project with funding from the European Union. The webinar aimed at introducing the ASSIST consultative mechanism to the Indonesian services sector as a practical solution to solving their cross-border intra-ASEAN trade problems.
Aside from ARISE Plus, resource speakers also included Mr. Robert Kwee, Founder of Alfamart Trading Philippines; Mr. I Ketut Rana Wiarcha, Chair of the Indonesian Institute of Architects; and Mr. Lazuardi Nasution, Indonesian Trade Attach in the Philippines. Mr. Iskandar Panjaitan, Director of Trade in Services Negotiation, Ministry of Trade, delivered the opening remarks and a presentation on the trade in services mechanism in ASEAN, encouraging the Indonesian business actors in the services sector to use ASSIST as a solution to cut the bureaucratic chain of intra-ASEAN dispute resolution. “The Ministry of Trade will continue to be proactive in supporting the acceleration of trade dispute resolution through the ASSIST platform“, said Mr. Iskandar Panjaitan.
In support of the ASSIST mechanism, the Ministry of Trade has issued the Minister of Trade Decree No. 1288 of 2017 dated 20 December 2017 concerning the Formation of a Working Group on the Settlement of Trade Problems among ASEAN Member States within the Framework of ASSIST, whose duties include providing a rapid response to the trade problems encountered by ASEAN business actors in entering the Indonesian market as well as coordinating with non-ministerial Government agencies and other relevant authorities/institutions to solve trade issues. The Working Group consists of Ministries/Institutions in the respective sectors and is coordinated by the Ministry of Trade.
Mr. Paolo R. Vergano, Key Expert on Trade Facilitation under the ARISE Plus Regional Project and Ms. Putri Adamy, ASSIST Expert under the ARISE Plus Regional Project delivered a presentation to introduce the ASSIST mechanism and illustrate the ASSIST website, its tutorials and the tool kits that have been developed with European Union support in all ASEAN languages. ARISE Plus Regional and the EU remain committed to supporting ASEAN with respect to ASSIST and a wealth of other trade facilitation tools geared to regional economic integration and the fulfillment of the ASEAN Economic Community
Highlights of the discussion can be found here: