The role of domestic interest groups is crucial in determining a country’s position and its interest in international trade negotiations. This research mainly focuses on analysing the role of major domestic interest groups related to agricultural sector in Indonesia and how they articulate their interests. This research principally aims at answering the following questions: what are the role and the position taken by the Indonesian government in Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) negotiations during the Doha Round? What strategies have been implemented by the Indonesian government to achieve its interests during the negotiations? Does the Indonesian government’s position in negotiations reflect the interests of its major domestic interest groups? To answer these questions, the data for this research is gathered through documentary evidence particularly official documents published by WTO and the Indonesian government, as well as domestic interests groups’ reports and publications. In addition, in-depth interviews with the representatives of domestic interest groups and government officials are also conducted to gain more comprehensive information.
The main findings show that Indonesia as a developing country that still relies on agricultural sector has the interest to enhance the market access and to promote its agricultural products in international market. However, at the same time, Indonesia also has an interest to protect its domestic market from the invasion of imported agricultural products due to the liberalisation of agricultural sector as a result of the implementation of AoA. In this regard, in pursuing its interest both as an exporter and an importer, in the AoA negotiations the Indonesian government employs a mixed strategy of offensive and defensive strategies. Indonesia’s strategies in the AoA negotiations also can be seen from the Indonesian government’s involvement in various coalition groups which not only have diverse but also sometimes conflicting goals. Indonesia is part of a Cairns group which endorses a liberalisation of agricultural sector. On the other hand, Indonesia is also an active member of both G-20 and G-33 which strongly fight for a special treatment for developing countries and broader access to developed countries’ markets as well as special protection for agricultural products from developing countries. The main findings of this research also reveal that the role of domestic interest groups in influencing the Indonesian government’s policies is still weak. As a result, the Indonesian government position in AoA negotiations does not necessarily reflect the interest of domestic interest groups in agricultural sector in Indonesia.
Authors: Poppy S. Winanti, Octa Purnama Sari, Dedy Permadi
Collation: xii + 44 p