Tax News | 06 April 2012
EFTA, Indonesia Hold FTA Negotiations
by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
The fourth round of negotiations towards a ’Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’ between the European Free Trade Association states and Indonesia concluded on March 29, 2012.
Three-day negotiations made progress on a broad range of issues, EFTA reported, including on technical cooperation and capacity building. It was agreed to continue the fast pace of negotiations, which began with a first round on January 31, 2011, with meetings to reconvene for a fifth round of negotiations in July 2012.
When concluded, the agreement will boost trade and investment flows between the EFTA trade bloc, comprising of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and Indonesia, namely by removing tax barriers to trade and providing a beneficial legal framework for entities to operate within.
Negotiations are to include coverage of numerous topics, including trade in goods, customs and origin matters, trade in services, and investment. Further topics will include intellectual property rights and sectoral cooperation.
Two-way merchandise trade between the two sides accounted for USD974m in 2011. EFTA’s main exports to Indonesia have historically been in machinery and pharmaceuticals while Indonesia exports ships, footwear and apparel to EFTA markets.