In August 2015, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister Sofyan Djalil confirmed that Indonesia is open to join the Trans-Pacific-Partnership trade agreement. He said that many in Asia didn’t believe that President Obama will get the mandate and also very optimistic that TPP is very close to reality
Indonesia is seeking to improve its international trade and weak exports and standstill economic growth. Seeing its neighbours like Malaysia and Vietnam joining the TPP has triggered Indonesia to take a step towards TPP. It seems that they will gain significant export advantages under the agreement at Indonesia’s expense and even more if Thailand and Philippines join the agreement. According to Peterson Institute for International Economic, Indonesia can really gain around 20% export rise and income gains of 2.5% by 2025.
But still it is unclear whether their interest in TPP will translate into any action before the agreement is signed. Indonesia is mainly focusing on agreements which will definitely give them gains with low effort in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP)- a free trade agreement between ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand and also with European Union.
Some experts say that TPP is a high standard so Indonesia might prefer to pursue it in the future rather than now. However, they argue that the country should focus on boosting its competitiveness by opening up and undertaking restructuring in areas like IP, environmental protection, and labor reforms, which means that they are serious about TPP. So will Indonesia join the TPP in the near future?