"We are concerned about the position of Indonesia, which is still below that of other ASEAN member countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand," Ariyanto Sagala, the head of the industrial quality and policy assessment affairs of the Ministry of Industry, stated here on Friday.

He explained that based on a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Indonesias competitiveness index was ranked 38 in the 2013-2014 period. Previously it was ranked 50th.

"Indonesias rating in the ASEAN region is still below Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand," Ariyanto added.

In logistics term, Indonesias position is also lower than that of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

"Besides that, we also have problems relating to human resources productivity," the Ministry of Industry official remarked.

Indonesia is the biggest market in the ASEAN region but it fails to adopt the correct step, then it will only become the market for other countries. Indonesias population accounts for 40 to 60 percent of the total ASEAN population of 612 million.

Basically, Indonesia has not yet had a large market share in the ASEAN region, as the values of its intra and extra ASEAN trade were still lesser than those of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

In terms of exports and imports in the ASEAN region, Indonesia has trade surpluses only with Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Its exports to Myanmar stood at 556.37 million dollars and its imports were worth 73.15 million US dollars.

With Cambodia its exports accounted for 312.41 million dollars and exports 17.84 million dollars.

Indonesias exports to the Philippines are worth 3.81 billion, while its imports stood at 777.38 million.

In other ASEAN countries Indonesia still suffered trade deficits.

Its exports against imports to Thailand stood at 6.06 billion and 10.70 billion respectively, to Singapore 16.69 billion and 25.58 billion and to Laos worth 5.85 million and 7.54 million.

In the meantime, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa had earlier stated that Indonesia had set up a committee to deal with things in the face of the AEC.

"We have established the AEC committee to strengthen our preparations," the minister explained.

The new committee has been given the task of, among other things, preparing to face the implementation of the AEC, and to identify opportunities and challenges that might be faced by the government and businessmen.

The preparations included those for trade, investment and the flow of people. "We have reached around 84 percent," the minister stated, referring to Indonesias achievement in accordance with the plans and targets set for the implementation of the AEC.

"Thats just the implementation phase. Later, we should prepare to benefit through the opportunities," he added.

The ASEAN leaders adopted the ASEAN Economic Blueprint at the 13th ASEAN Summit on 20 November 2007, in Singapore to serve as a coherent master plan guiding the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.