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ASEAN solution for Indonesian businesses trading in ASEAN, supported by the EU
Small and medium enterprises based in Indonesia can now take advantage of a new online tool - ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) - to address their practical problems when trading within ASEAN. The ASSIST online facility was developed with the support of the European Union (EU).
The private sector in Indonesia has been encouraged to take advantage of the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) to address intra-ASEAN trading problems, and enable companies to fully benefit from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the free movement of goods and services across ASEAN.
ASSIST is a free online facility (https://assist.asean.org), developed by ASEAN with the financial support of the European Union under the ARISE Plus programme. It allows businesses to lodge e-complaints directly with ASEAN Member State Governments when they encounter exporting problems to other ASEAN countries.
“Trade facilitation and regulatory transparency are the drivers for ASEAN regional economic integration,” stated EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan ahead of a series of outreach events, organised by the EU, for government and private sector representatives in Vientiane, Naypyidaw, Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila and Ha Noi. These two-day workshops aim at training the government authorities in ASEAN Member States and sensitise the private sector.
The ASSIST mechanics are simple, cost-effective and meant to provide complainants with solutions to their problems within 60 days. Confidentiality and anonymity are guaranteed, if needed.
Thanks to ASSIST, the private sector will be able to better cooperate with ASEAN Member States in identifying and addressing Non-Tariff Measures, including measures affecting quantities traded and prices, and aiming at removing Non-Tariff-Barriers within the region.
During the Outreach Event in Jakarta, Mr Raffaele Quarto, Head of Trade of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, said, “ASSIST is designed for the private sector and we consider it an instrument to facilitate the growth of intra-ASEAN trade. It is also a key tool for businesses to engage with ASEAN governments and resolve cross-border trade problems through a simple procedure. We encourage the Indonesian business community to take full advantage of this free online tool”.
This two-day event in Jakarta is aimed at training government officials from Indonesia and Malaysia, the Focal Points for ASSIST Trade in Services (i.e. Department of Trade of the Ministry of Commerce) and other relevant authorities (i.e. Ministries and agencies with competence on trade in services) to manage future ASSIST cases.
The event also sensitised the representatives of the Indonesian private sector, including the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and its affiliated trade associations, and EuroCham Indonesia.
ASSIST for Trade in good is readily available. ASSIST for Trade in Services will be officially launched on 1 May 2019.
About ASSIST and ARISE Plus
ASSIST is an ASEAN trade facilitation initiative under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, it is supported by the EU under its ARISE Plus programme. ASSIST has been operating for Trade in Goods cases since 2015. It is being extended to Trade in Services in 2019. Other EU supported initiatives under ARISE Plus include the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR, available at https://atr.asean.org) and the ASEAN Customs and Transit System (ACTS, available at https://acts.asean.org/), which all cater to the private sector.