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Indonesia still wants to secure EU trade pact this year

The Jakarta Globe - 05 March 2024

Indonesia still wants to secure EU trade pact this year
By Jayanty Nada Shofa

Indonesia and the European Union (EU) recently had another round of negotiations on its long-awaited trade agreement with Jakarta keeping the targeted deadline unchanged at 2024.

Both sides have been negotiating the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which is expected to lift trade barriers, since 2016.

In the 17th round that took place in Bandung last week, Indonesia and the EU managed to reach a “technical conclusion” on three chapters of the long-awaited pact, among others, on sustainable food systems, according to the Trade Ministry. The other two chapters were related to technical barriers to trade, and institutional provisions.

“There are around 20 chapters in the CEPA. We have agreed on 11 chapters so far. There are matters that we need to discuss at length to find the perfect ‘landing zone’ for both sides. We wish to finish the negotiations by 2024,” Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, the director-general for international trade agreements at the Trade Ministry, told a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

In 2023, Indonesia-EU trade amounted to $30.8 billion. Indonesia’s exports to the European bloc were worth $16.7 billion. Indonesia’s imports from the EU totaled $14.1 billion throughout that year. Palm oil became one of Indonesia’s top exports to the EU despite the bloc’s ongoing attempts to restrict its access with the anti-deforestation law.

“The [Indonesia-EU CEPA] pact is still in discussion. … But Indonesia’s offensive stance has been to make sure that the deal opens up market access, be it from a tariff and non-tariff measure standpoint. We have told the EU that this is our top priority. We are not only seeking market access for agricultural products but also other industries as well, including manufacturing goods,” Djatmiko said.

 source: The Jakarta Globe