The Jakarta Post | 26 April 2016
Indonesia-EU CEPA set for 2019
by Ayomi Amindoni
Official negotiations on the Indonesia-European Union comprehensive economic partnership agreement ( IE-CEPA ) will commence within the next 4 to 6 months, with completion targeted for 2019.
Following the completion of the initial phase of IE-CEPA, known as scoping papers, during President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s visit to Belgium last week, a technical committee of the EU is currently holding internal discussions, according to Trade Minister Thomas Lembong.
"We are now taking a step forward toward formal negotiations. Formal negotiations are expected to take two to two and a half years," Thomas said in Jakarta on Tuesday, adding that the formal negotiations would start after internal discussions ended in the next three to six weeks.
He added that scoping papers for CEPA had been started in 2010 but had been halted for four years. At the end of last year, both sides decided to continue discussions on scoping papers, which were eventually completed in just four months.
"It is a big surprise, a positive surprise that scoping papers were completed during the President’s visit to Brussels, on his visit to Europe last week," the minister said.
The scoping papers cover several issues that will determine the free trade agreement including trade in goods, customs and trade, technical regulations, trade in services and investment, public procurement, intellectual property rights, competition policy, transparency of regulations, dispute settlements and trade and sustainable development.
Previously, Jokowi said Indonesia was ready to immediately negotiate the CEPA, in line with the commitment to making the nation’s economy more open and competitive.