20 October 2015
UPH International Relations & UPH CITI Delivered Interim Report to Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The report is a part of a joint research project. MoFA hosted the event in its office Monday afternoon.

Monday, 19 October 2015 – UPH Department of International Relations, in cooperation with UPH Center for International Trade and Investment delivered an Interim Report to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. The report is part of a joint research project titled “Economic Diplomacy Performance: Evaluation on International Trade and Investment Agreements”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the delivery in its office in Jalan Taman Pejambon 6, Jakarta.

The event started with presentation from Prof. Aleksius Jemadu, Ph.D. – Dean of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of UPH as well as the Lead Researcher of the project. Prof. Aleks mentioned that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi re-echoed the importance of economic diplomacy for the last one year. In light of this, Centre for Policy Planning and Development for International Organization (BPPK P2K-OI) and UPH took initiative to have a joint research by using what has been echoed by President Jokowi and Minister Retno as the contextual background. Furthermore, three big issues are highlighted in the research, which are food security, environmental goods, and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The research, according to Prof. Aleks will result in a policy recommendation for the government to create a policy alignment covering the three issues.

In turn, Dr. Michelle Limenta – Director of UPH Center for International Trade and Investment explained the progress of the report further. Dr. Limenta first discussed food security policy in Indonesia, which only do importation of food when domestic supply is not sufficient. She also emphasized on the common misinterpretation of most people on food security, which often interpreted as self-sufficiency. She argued that food security is not only about quantity, but more importantly the quality. “Food security is not about when the producers successfully produce enough supply for the country, but the sustainable access to food by the society”, said Dr. Limenta.

Dr. Limenta also discussed the issue on environmental goods, where nowadays Indonesia is still lacking of human resources and fund in promoting environmental goods and green industry. However, in providing incentives for the green industry, Indonesian government should be cautious so that those incentives would not violate Agreement on Subsidy and Countervailing Measures governed by the World Trade Organization. She suggested that government should take more well-designed measures in handling this issue.

Furthermore, Dr. Limenta also brought up the discussion on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS often become obstacle for government to exercise its regulatory autonomy, and the consistency and predictability in interpreting clauses in BITs are vary from panel to panel. “Indonesia has decided to terminate more than 60 of its BITs with its trading partners. Discontinuing instead of terminating the BITs would be a wise move for Indonesia.” added by Dr. Limenta.

 

 
 Prof. Aleksius Jemadu, Dean of FISIP, and Michelle Limenta, Director of UPH CITI, delivering the Interim Report at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Mr. Fikry Cassidy – the Head of Centre for Policy Planning and Development for International Organization then moderated the discussion by inviting suggestions or questions from several senior diplomats in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There were a lot of meaningful inputs from Ministry of Foreign Affairs that can be used for the completion of the research. One of the inputs is to provide a concrete step for Ministry of Foreign Affairs in responding the issues. Another one is to provide policy options for the government in addressing the issue of environmental goods. The possibility of cooperation between Ministry of Foreign Affairs with other Ministries in tackling the issues should also be considered so the government can work efficiently.

The report delivery was held in a closed session and attended by representatives of UPH Department of International Relations, UPH CITI, and some representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs.