Indonesia welcomes proposal to abolish tariff on Asean books


PAMPANGA: Indonesia welcomed the proposal to abolish tariff on the sale of books to enable locally-published books to penetrate markets in Asean.

"We welcome the proposal as it will benefit Asean member countries, especially the people of Indonesia and Malaysia who use similiar language," Hubertus Sadirin, Senior Conservationist and Trainer of Indonesia's Ministry of Culture and Tourism told Bernama, here today.

He was here to attend the 7th Meeting of Senior Officials Responsible for Culture and Arts (SOMCA) and the 4th Meeting of Asean Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) which ended yesterday.

Last Monday, Malaysia's Information Communication and Culture
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said in Kuala Lumpur that the proposal would not only benefit Malaysia but also other Asean member countries and that the matter would be raised at the meeting here.

Rais also said that currently, locally-published books found it hard to penetrate the international market compared to books from the other countries where the demand for them was rather strong to the extent that they were reprinted.

Yesterday, Rais, who attended the AMCA here, said although the meeting did not specifically discuss the matter, the issue might be discussed at the bilateral level between Malaysia and Indonesia, which had a combined population of nearly 300 million using similar language.

Expressing positive response to the proposal, Hubertus hoped the discussion over the matter could be held as soon as possible.
"This is a very good suggestion and we are looking forward to deliberating this further," he said. -- BERNAMA

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