Caribbean Net News | February 2, 2008
Guyana and Indonesia sign reciprocal trade agreement
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA): Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation Dr Henry Jeffrey and Indonesia’s Ambassador to Guyana, Suprijanto Muhadi on Wednesday signed an agreement on the promotion and protection of investments in the two countries.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Ambassador Muhadi said that the agreement paves the way for concrete activities between businessmen of the two countries. Workshops will be held later this year to bring businessmen together to learn about the potentials for investments available to them.
He lamented that there was no direct trade between Indonesia and the region largely because the region is considered to be too distant to be competitive with the exports from Latin America and Brazil. This small start is expected to see reciprocal access to the Indonesian markets.
Minister Jeffrey said he was pleased that this agreement for which negotiations commenced in 2004 had been completed.
He alluded to the vast experience Indonesia had in wood and forestry products, stating that Guyana with it large forestry reserve could benefit greatly from that country’s expertise.
He noted that this agreement comes at a time when Guyana has just signed onto the European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and is due to start trade negotiations with the Canadians.
The agreement offers protection from the expropriation of investment, and offers ‘national treatment’ to investors.
It will see the two countries sharing the same benefits as with the European Union. Guyana will have to find ways to take advantage of the access to the large Indonesian market.
Extending from the South East Indian Archipelago and located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands of which 6000 are inhabited. They gained independence from the Dutch in August 1945.
Guyana and Indonesia developed diplomatic relations in 1999.