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Indonesia to conclude free trade talks with Russia-led union in July

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Business Times - 10 June 2024

Indonesia to conclude free trade talks with Russia-led union in July

Indonesia expects to conclude discussions on a free trade agreement with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in July, its chief economic minister said on Monday (Jun 10).

Minister Airlangga Hartarto met with Eurasian Economic Commission trade minister Andrey Slepnev in Moscow on Monday. The EEU comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

“I believe that the FTA (free trade agreement) will certainly have a positive and mutually beneficial impact for Indonesia and EEU,” Airlangga said, adding that a fifth round of discussions would be held in Indonesia next month.

Airlangga also asked Russia to promote Indonesia’s palm oil to the EEU. Last year, the EU passed a law banning the import of commodities linked to deforestation, a move expected to hurt the palm oil industry of Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85 per cent of global palm oil exports.

Indonesia’s palm oil has met health and sustainability standards, Airlangga said, adding he hoped the EEU would not impose any rules that discriminate against the product.

EEU is one of Indonesia’s biggest palm oil importers, buying US$544.64 million worth of the commodity in 2023.

Indonesia also exports coffee to EEU. The union’s main exports to the South-east Asian nation include fertiliser made from mineral or chemical and ferro-alloys.

 source: Business Times