Jakarta. Indonesia has expressed its concerns over the United States' stance against open and free trade, which gives a bleak outlook for the future of global commerce.
"At the previous G20 meeting in Hangzhou, last year, each country agreed not to apply protective policies that would create obstacles in trade and investment. This time it didn't happen," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told reporters on Wednesday (22/03).
Sri referred to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, on 17-18 March.
She said everyone but the US agreed that trade is important for the global economy, hence cooperation between countries is highly recommended.
US President Donald Trump is leading the world's largest market toward protectionism, as he withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. Economists fear the move can result in retaliation from other countries and the spread of protectionism.
The US is Indonesia's biggest export destination.
The country's total non-oil and gas exports to the US, including textiles, rubber and shoes, reached $15.7 billion last year, up 2.5 percent from 2015. That was about 12 percent of the country's total non-oil and gas exports last year.
Exports to China and Japan constituted 11.5 and 10 percent respectively of the total exports during the same period.
"Indonesia is an open country and export is our source of growth," the minister said.
She added that Indonesia is keen on entering new markets, while strengthening its existing bilateral trade agreements, in order to counter any drawbacks should US double its efforts against free trade.