Jakarta Post | 12 January 2018
Indonesia-EU CEPA 4th round to be held in Surakarta
by Stefani Ribka
The fourth round of the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) is scheduled to be held in Surakarta in February, according to an EU Commission statement.
This round will deal with, among others, Indonesia’s regulatory side that was not up for discussion in the previous rounds. The EU, meanwhile, has presented 17 text proposals.
Exchange of tariff offers will take place, in which the EU will keep commonalities with Vietnam and other ASEAN members.
Rough topics like Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) — measures to protect humans, animals and plants from diseases, pests or contaminants — public procurement and state enterprises will continue to be tapped, the statement said.
Indonesia and the EU have announced a CEPA conclusion target in 2019 that is expected to be implemented in 2021, but the latter focused on the quality of the agreement rather than timing.
“The EU will focus on substance rather than timing; negotiations are moving forward at a sustained pace,” said Helena König, the commission director for Asia and Latin America, during a civil society dialogue in Brussels on Dec. 15.
I-EU CEPA is expected to accelerate trade growth between the country and the 28-member bloc.
Total trade between the EU and Indonesia only expanded by 3.1 percent on average annually within the 2007-2016 period and reached $25.1 billion last year, according to Trademap. The figure is comparably smaller than the EU and Vietnam total trade of between $24 billion and $41 billion in the past five years.