Iman Prihandono , Sydney | Tue, 01/12/2010 9:29 AM | Opinion
Entering year 2010 is marked by the entry into a free trade area agreement between ASEAN and China, also known as the ASEAN-China FTA. Little attention was given to the possible impact of this FTA agreement to fulfill human rights in Indonesia. Some rights include the right to health and a healthy environment, work and earn a decent livelihood, the access to natural resources, and other social, economic, and cultural rights.
The ASEAN-China FTA was first made in 2001 at the ASEAN-China Summit, which formulated a Framework on Economic Cooperation and established an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. Under this framework, establishing a free trade area within 10 years time was agreed.
The ASEAN-China FTA is not the first trade liberalization agreement entered by Indonesia. Indonesia’s participation in regional and international trade agreements began with the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992, and followed its accession as a WTO member, as well as other agreements such as the ASEAN-Japanese FTA, the Korea-ASEAN FTA and a bilateral agreement with Japan, the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJ-EPA). These agreements could possibly be added by the EU-ASEAN FTA. The same possibility may also happen with the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA, both agreements are now still in the negotiation process.
Critics said a number of trade agreements may potentially hinder the fulfillment of human rights.
Read the full article at “The Jakarta Post”