PUBLIC–PRIVATE CONSULTATION FOR FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NEGOTIATIONS IN CANADA AND INDONESIA
A consultation mechanism between government and the private sector, generally known as public- private consultation (PPC), needs to be established and maintained in order to ensure that business interests are brought to the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiating table. In the context of FTA negotiations, PPC is a two-way consultation between the government and the private sector1 that is conducted in a transparent, systematic, and continuous way through a variety of instruments.
PPC is a living mechanism. It changes over time in line with a country’s development. In Canada, consultation on FTA negotiations has shifted to a more inclusive approach that includes the public in general (both business and non-business stakeholders). PPC in Canada is carried out through various instruments that are accessible by all Canadian stakeholders, including:
the Canada Gazette
Global Affairs Canada’s website
other electronic means (such as e-mail and social media)
meetings and conference calls
The Canadian private sector generally feels that the current PPC instruments have been successful in addressing the objectives of PPC for FTA negotiations and implementation.
Indonesia, on the other hand, has only limited PPC for FTA negotiations. Based on the PPC practices in Canada, this report offers several key recommendations.
To improve PPC, the Indonesian government needs to:
establish a single-window, user-friendly web portal for PPC;
establish a committee to monitor PPC;
produce a template form for input/contributions;
produce briefing notes prior to PPC;
organize regular capacity-building activities for private-sector stakeholders;
conduct regular meetings with the private sector.
To improve PPC, Indonesian business associations need to:
be more proactive in reaching out to the Indonesian government on a regular basis;
engage in a two-way exchange of information with the Indonesian government;
consult with in-house committees;
engage members with relevant expertise or partner with external experts to offer quality input into PPC;
summarize all views received from their members.
This report contributes to a better understanding of the PPC mechanisms in Canada and Indonesia. The practices of PPC in Canada might also contribute to improving Indonesia’s current PPC practices in order to help Indonesia succeed in FTA negotiations and utilize FTAs to benefit their country.