Antara News - 27 January 2023
Indonesia looks to improve trade with Eurasia
Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan has called for the strengthening of economic cooperation between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), saying he expects the free trade agreement (FTA) between Indonesia and EAEU to be completed soon.
He made the statement during a meeting with a member of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Board and EEC Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics, Sergei Glazyev, here on Friday.
"I congratulate Indonesia and EAEU members on the launch of the Indonesia-EAEU (IEAEU) FTA negotiation last December. The launch of the IEAEU-FTA negotiations is a historic moment to bolster (our) bilateral relations to a higher level," Hasan said, according to a statement.
The negotiation was officially launched on December 5, 2022, virtually. Currently, the two parties are still drafting the terms of reference for the negotiation.
The first round of the negotiation is planned to take place around March or April 2023, and is targeted to be completed within two years.
Some of the issues that will be discussed during the negotiations include trade in goods, rules of origin, trade remedies, customs procedures and trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property rights, technical barriers to trade, business competition, and digital trade.
Furthermore, during their meeting on Friday, Hasan and Glazyev also talked about the Indonesia-EEC Joint Working Group (JWG).
Hasan said that the two parties have entered into a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) to establish the JWG as a discussion forum on trade and investment technical cooperation.
"Indonesia welcomes various initiatives to optimize the potential of bilateral economic relations, it is very important for both parties to complete negotiations as soon as possible," he added.
The MOC was inked on October 17, 2019, on the sidelines of Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) 2019.
Meanwhile, Glazyev said that although the bilateral trade between the two nations has been quite good, there are still opportunities to improve it.
"FTA agreements and discussions on technical cooperation under the memorandum of cooperation are expected to encourage (more) two-way trade and investment flows," he added.
From January to November 2022, the total trade between Indonesia and the EAEU reached US$4 billion, up 32.75 percent year on year.
During the period, Indonesia’s exports to EAEU were recorded at US$1.52 billion, while Indonesia’s imports from EAEU reached US$1.82 billion.
EAEU ranked 30th as a source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for Indonesia in 2021, with an investment value of US$23.2 million in 214 projects, an increase of 404.49 percent compared to 2020.