The Ministry of Trade has partnered with ARISE+ Indonesia to train its trade analysts and negotiators in a three-week course on Rules of Origin, commenced on Tuesday (05/10). The training aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of trade analysts and negotiators in negotiating Rules of Origin to ensure that the Indonesian companies will gain maximum benefit from trade agreements. 

Indonesia has negotiated a number of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with trading partner countries, and some are still underway. Enterprises may however fully benefit from FTAs provided that their products comply with the Rules of Origin set in the agreements.  Speaking on behalf of the Secretary of Directorate General of International Trade Negotiation, the Coordinator of Programme and Cooperation, Mr Harry Putranto, underscored the pivotal importance of determining Rules of Origin in the negotiations process of all those agreements.

"How these rules are designed, enforced, and verified will critically determine the economic gains from Indonesia FTAs, and will shape the future of Indonesia's value chain with its trading partners," Mr Harry said during the opening remarks via Zoom. 

Rules of Origin (RoO) is used to determine where goods originate from for various purposes, including the applicable tariff rate given to a product traded between two countries. The rules determining the country of origin can be very simple if a product is wholly grown or manufactured and assembled in one country. However, determining origin tends to be more complex when a finished product includes components that originate from many countries. Rules of Origin can be very detailed and specific and different from one product to another and vary from one agreement to the other for a given product.

The ARISE+ Indonesia capacity-building program was divided into three parts. The first part was held as a hybrid event on 5-7 October to discuss comprehensive aspects of Rules of Origin. It then continued with field research from 8-22 October through virtual visit and interviews to gather information from enterprises. The training ended with a hybrid workshop to discuss the fieldwork report and perform negotiating exercises on 25-26 October. 

Mike Humprey, a consultant with 30 years of experience in international trade negotiation from an Australia-based Institute for International Trade, led the training virtually. He was supported by Mohammad Revindo and Fithra Faisal Hastiadi, trainers from the Institute for Economic and Social Research - Faculty of Economic Business, University of Indonesia, who joined the participants for in-class training in Bandung.

Ririh Hidayah, a Junior Trade Negotiator from the Directorate of Bilateral Negotiation, appreciated the comprehensive training methodology, which comprised lectures on Rules of Origin, case studies during fieldwork, and negotiation exercises.

During the fieldwork, her group found that some companies could not utilise the preferential tariff in the trade agreement due to non-compliance with the provision of Rules of Origin. These findings motivated her to master the Rules of Origin.

"It's excellent training to improve our knowledge and skills, and really beneficial to supporting my work to determine and negotiate the Rules of Origin that the Indonesian companies can utilise," Ririh said during the final training (25/10).

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