At a meeting in Manila on November 16 (Source: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) - Of the 21 economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), Vietnam, Indonesia, Peru and Papua New Guinea have pioneered the concept on “development goods”, according to Indonesia’s Antara news agency on November 17.

Indonesia will call for the introduction of a policy for reduced tariff on products that contribute to rural development, which are classified as "development goods", at the APEC Economic Leaders Week (AELW).

Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong said if the concept is approved by the APEC economies, a number of commodities categorised as “development goods” would attract lower tariff. He added that the plan was put forth before all APEC members but negotiations did not always run smoothly.

According to the Indonesian Trade Ministry, no less than 157 products could be categorised as “development goods”. Among these, Indonesia would fight for certain goods, including palm oil, rubber, aquaculture and forestry products. These products involve farmers and also small businesses and are related to poverty alleviation.

A tariff of an average 13.5 percent is still being imposed on the products under the “development goods” category while an average tariff of around 5.8 percent is imposed on the APEC economies.

Various issues are being discussed at the APEC 2015 meetings, including multilateral trade system, service trade, small and medium businesses, health, energy resilience and anti-corruption.

On the agenda are also the realisation of Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), the implementation of the agreement to reduce tariffs on environmental goods or the APEC Environmental Goods List (EGs List).-VNA