‘Indonesia will join TPP free trade deal’

Washington, Oct 27 (IANS) Indonesian President Joko Widodo told his American counterpart Barack Obama that it intends to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reached earlier this month between the US and 11 Pacific countries, the media reported on Tuesday.

“Indonesia is an open economy and with a population of 250 million, we are the largest economy in South-East Asia. Indonesia intends to join the TPP,” Widodo said on Monday in a press statement after meeting Obama in the White House.

The TPP, signed in early October, is subject to ratification by the 12 member countries — Chile, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam — which represent 40 percent of the global economy.

Obama said the two discussed how to continue to “strengthen the trade, investment and commercial relationships between our two countries”.

The leaders discussed climate change and “why it’s so important that large countries like ours work together to arrive at the strongest possible set of targets and international agreements when we arrive in Paris just a little over a month from now”, Obama said.

Indonesia is facing a crisis due to fires that are producing more carbon dioxide than the entire US economy, according to a report by the US-based World Resources Institute published last week.

Widodo expressed his concern about the difficulties in extinguishing the fires, which forced him to cut short his visit to the US and return to Indonesia to tackle the crisis.

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