US says talks on Indonesia trade preference to conclude soon

US says talks on Indonesia trade preference  to conclude soon
A worker unloads palm fruit at a palm oil plantation on Sumatra island. (Reuters)
Updated 06 November 2019

US says talks on Indonesia trade preference to conclude soon

US says talks on Indonesia trade preference  to conclude soon

JAKARTA: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday Washington’s review of a trade preference facility for Indonesia would conclude soon, and predicted “far more investment” by US companies in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been reviewing Indonesia’s eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility for more than a year due to concerns about market access for US goods, services and investment.

Speaking after meetings with Indonesian ministers and ahead of a meeting with President Joko Widodo, Ross said both sides had agreed to step up efforts to conclude the review.

“We are comfortable and confident that very quickly (the outstanding issues) could be resolved,” Ross told reporters in the Indonesian capital.

“I think we’ll see far more investment from American companies and far more bilateral trade than exist right now.”

The GSP program gives privileged trade status to developing economies. By retaining GSP and opening up more market access both ways, Indonesia and the US aim to more than double their trade in the next five years to $60 billion, Indonesian Chief Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto said.

Total two-way trade was worth $28.6 billion last year, according to Indonesian Trade Ministry data.

“We want to open access for our furniture and textiles and we have programs to import more cotton and wheat from the US,” Hartarto said.

Some 80 percent of the negotiations for the GSP facility, which reduces duties on $2 billion of Indonesian exports, have been completed, he said, adding that talks should be wrapped up before Christmas.

US companies including automotive firm Tesla and conglomerate Honeywell were seeking business opportunities, and Jakarta had promised improvements in the investment climate, Hartarto said.


9 things to watch on Tadawul today

9 things to watch on Tadawul today
Updated 3 min 53 sec ago

9 things to watch on Tadawul today

9 things to watch on Tadawul today
  • stc reported net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 11.085 billion for FY2020, rising 4% year-on-year (YoY)
  • SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 1.29 billion for the fiscal year 2020, a 12% decline YoY

Here are a few things you need to know as Saudi stocks start trading on Sunday.

1) Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co.’s (Saudi Kayan) net loss after Zakat and tax widened to SAR 784.7 million for the fiscal year 2020.

2) stc reported net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 11.085 billion for FY2020, rising 4% year-on-year (YoY).

3) Saudia Dairy & Foodstuff Company (SADAFCO) reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 205 million for the first nine-month period ended Dec. 31, 2020, a rise of 7% YoY.

4) Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and Plastic Energy Ltd. announced plans to commence construction on the first commercial unit to produce its flagship certified circular polymers.

5) The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia’s (Bahri) subsidiary, National Chemical Carriers Co., inked a SAR 1.23 billion Murabaha financing agreement with Samba Financial Group.

6) SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 1.29 billion for the fiscal year 2020, a 12% decline YoY.

7) Herfy Food Services Co. reported an estimated net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 53.6 million for the fiscal year 2020, a slump of 73% YoY.

8) Basic Chemical Industries Co. accepted the resignation of chief executive officer Osama Farouk Abdulhamid, effective Jan. 20, 2021.

9) Brent crude on Friday declined 69 cents to reach $55.41 per barrel. WTI crude also decreased 86 cents to reach $52.27/bbl.