Statement by Minister of Trade of Indonesia. H.E. Mrs. Mari Pangestu, at the Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting

November 30, 2009 Trade/WTO

Thank you Minister Crean,

First of all, let me express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Australia for convening this timely and important meeting. Our appreciation also goes to you, Minister Crean, for your able chairmanship that has been promoting our Group as one of the key players in the WTO.

I fully support your views on the importance of the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference to the whole multilateral trading system, especially in the midst of global economic uncertainty. An open and transparent multilateral trading system is the key. This will ensure a strong adherence of all Members to the multilateral trade rules.

It should also be highlighted that developing countries are the main victim of the global economic crisis. Therefore, the WTO together with international financial institutions and other developmental organizations should make concerted and comprehensive efforts to mitigate the effect of the crisis on developing countries.

I also share your assessment on the state of play of Doha negotiation. We have made good progress in technical issues pertaining to template and data requirements for scheduling, for which Cairns Group, under your leadership, has shown pro-active and constructive contribution. This technical works is crucial to create better understanding among Members about the complexity of scheduling process.

While the progress in technical works is necessary, it is certainly not sufficient. Before we come to scheduling process, we need real progress to hammer out an agreement on modalities, whereas, in my view, is lacking.

In Bali this year, we have explored on how to reinvigorate the Doha Development Round negotiations. The Meeting called for the need to map out a clear path towards Doha conclusion, and now we recognized that 2010 has been clearly spelled out as our target.

We really have an immense task ahead if we are to successfully achieve this target. Cairns Group, again, could play a pivotal role here in bridging the gaps among Members.

The challenge now is to translate the political will into new negotiating positions. Repetition of old and widely known position will not add much to the negotiation process.

To this end, major trading partners must show their leadership by moving from their initial positions. Developed countries have major responsibilities to substantially reduce their huge trade-distorting subsidies, significantly improve market access as well as eliminate all export subsidies.

Since this is a development round, an agreement on agriculture modalities should also take into account the development interests of developing countries. In this regard, special and differential treatments should be an integral part of the modalities and the outcome of agriculture negotiations.

To conclude, please be assured that Indonesia remains constructively engage, together with the Cairns Group, in the future Doha negotiation in order to seek a fair and balance outcome. Indonesia also lends its confidence to you, Minister Crean, for keeping the unity and the solidarity in the Cairns Group and to fight for the development mandate of this Round.

I thank you.


Geneva, 30 November 2009