World Economy

Indonesia is on path to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, finance minister says

Key Points
  • Indonesia will apply to join the TPP in future, Sri Mulyani Indrawat said.
  • She said the country's economy has bigger priorities for now.
  • Global trade tariffs will not hurt Indonesia as yet but could in future, she said.
Global poverty reduction is due to free trade, Indonesia's finance minister says

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said her country wants to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but is not yet ready to do so.

The former World Bank managing director spoke Wednesday to CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington. The meetings bring together central bankers, lawmakers and company directors.

Indrawati said Indonesian President Joko Widodo has always wanted to join the TPP but does not see it as an immediate priority for the economy.

"The direction is towards that (TPP), but we have to address a lot of structural issues. That is why the Indonesian government is paying attention to connectivity, human capital and reform to the ease of doing business," she said.

After the United States abandoned plans to join the TPP trade agreement, 11 other countries decided to revive it and signed a revised version in March.

The countries now participating are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Indrawati said Indonesia's trade focus in future would not solely focus on TPP nations.

"I think we are going to make sure that Indonesia focuses on non-traditional markets. We are going to look at central Asia as well as India and Africa," she said.

Indrawati was appointed finance minister in 2016 having previously served in the same post between 2005 and 2010.