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Indonesia Seeks Ways To Redefine China Ties(译:印尼希望扭转对华贸易失衡局面)--中英对照

As Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visits China this week, Southeast Asia's largest economy is looking to redefine its trade relationship with its giant neighbor to the North as a flood of Chinese imports challenges some Indonesian companies.

Other Southeast Asian countries have similar concerns, after a 2010 free-trade agreement between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia as well as Thailand and Vietnam. Although Asian countries have benefited in many ways from China's boom in recent years, especially by selling commodities to China, owners of businesses from fruit farms to shoe-manufacturing plants have said a massive influx of cheap Chinese goods since the onset of the trade deal has jeopardized their viability.

Indonesia's president will spend much of Friday and Saturday trying to promote investment in Indonesia in meetings with Chinese executives, and Premier Wen Jiabao, which could help assuage Indonesia's concerns. But the import issues are also on the agenda in relations between the two countries, with trade friction rising recently as Indonesia has unveiled measures aimed at curbing some imports, including those that come from China.

Imports into Indonesia have surged in the past five years as China has rapidly become Indonesia's second-biggest trading partner after Japan. Its imports from China have more than tripled in the past four years to $26 billion. While Indonesia's exports to China have also been growing thanks to its appetite for Indonesian commodities like palm oil, tin and coal, they haven't kept up. The Southeast Asian nation's trade imbalance with China tripled over the past four years to close to $4 billion last year.

Diplomats from both Indonesia and China wouldn't comment on whether Indonesia's concerns about its growing trade gap with China or international concerns about Indonesian trade barriers would be brought up during Mr. Yudhoyono's visit. But people familiar with the matter in Indonesia say government officials are increasingly frustrated over the issue and eager to find ways to manage the flow of goods.

Indeed, official trade figures may capture only part of the problem, many Indonesian businesses complain. They say there is also a problem of undocumented, illegal imports from China and elsewhere flooding the sprawling archipelago, which has more than 17,000 islands─making it close to impossible to protect from smugglers.

'Indonesia's economy is too open and that makes it impossible for domestic players to compete and they barely survive in their own market,' said Ade Sudrajat, chairman of the Indonesian Textile Association. He said Indonesian textile and garment makers have been devastated by Chinese imports.

A Chinese official said Thursday the relationship between the two countries remained strong. 'Pragmatic cooperation is unceasingly expanding' between the two countries, said Hong Lei, a spokesman from China's Foreign Ministry. 'During President Yudhoyono's visit to China, Chinese national leaders and he will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and common concern (about) international and regional issues.'
由于中国商品涌入印度尼西亚对该国一些企业构成了挑战,印尼总统苏西洛(Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono)本周访华时,这个东南亚最大的经济体将寻求重新定义它与中国之间的贸易关系。

去年11月,中国总理温家宝(左)和印尼总统苏西洛在印尼巴厘岛努沙杜瓦举行的中国-东盟建立对话关系20周年纪念峰会上。2010年中国与东南亚国家联盟(简称东盟)签署自由贸易协定之后,其他东南亚国家也有跟印尼一样的担忧。东盟包括印尼、泰国和越南等成员国。虽然近几年亚洲国家在很多方面受益于中国经济的繁荣,向中国出售大宗商品尤其给他们带来了好处,但从果园到制鞋厂,很多企业都说,自贸协定生效以来大量涌进的中国廉价商品威胁到了他们的生存。

本周五、周六会见中国商界领袖和国务院总理温家宝时,印尼总统将把大部分会谈时间用于推销印尼的投资机会,这可能有助于减轻印尼方面的担忧。但进口问题也处在两国关系的议事日程上。印尼最近公布了旨在遏制一些产品(包括中国商品)进口的措施,导致两国贸易摩擦加剧。

过去五年,随着中国成为印尼仅次于日本的贸易伙伴,印尼的进口额大幅增长。它从中国的进口额已达260亿美元,比四年前的三倍还多。由于中国对棕榈油、锡和煤炭等印尼大宗商品的需求,印尼对华出口也在增长,但其增长步伐却没有赶上来自中国的进口。去年印尼对华贸易逆差达到接近40亿美元的水平,是四年前的三倍。

印尼因其对华贸易逆差越来越大而产生的担忧,或国际上对印尼贸易壁垒的担忧,会不会在苏西洛访华期间被提出来?对此印尼和中国的外交官都不愿评论。但印尼知情人士说,政府官员对两国间贸易逆差的问题日益感到不满,急于想找到办法对中国商品流入印尼进行管理。

事实上印尼很多企业都说,官方贸易数字可能只反映了问题的一部分。他们说,中国和其他国家没有手续的非法商品输入印尼,也是一个问题。印尼是一个面积广阔的群岛国家,岛屿超过1.7万个,使之几乎无法不受走私活动的侵害。

印尼纺织业协会(Indonesian Textile Association)会长阿德•苏德拉查(Ade Sudrajat)说,印尼经济过于开放,使国内厂商在自己的市场上无法竞争、只能勉强存活。他说,印尼纺织和服装企业遭到了中国商品的毁灭性打击。

一位中国官员周四说,两国关系依旧牢固。外交部发言人洪磊说,两国“务实合作不断拓展”,苏西洛总统此次访华期间,“中国国家领导人将与他就双边关系及共同关心的国际和地区问题深入交换意见”。

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