logo logo

Jakarta wants PTA with Dhaka by April

Dhaka Tribune - 19 February 2023

Jakarta wants PTA with Dhaka by April

Jakarta is keen on signing a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Dhaka by April this year.

Sources said that the Indonesian Embassy in Dhaka has informed the Foreign Ministry regarding the issue.

Indonesia has finalized its end on formulating a revised offer list for the negotiation of BI-PTA and it will be exchanged with Bangladesh’s revised offer, said the embassy.

Jakarta also expressed its readiness to hold a meeting of the 4th Trade Negotiating Committee of BI-PTA by the end of February or the first week of March there.

Upon completion of the BI-PTA negotiations, the embassy said, the visit of the Indonesian Minister of Trade Dr Zulkifli Hasan is slated for April as well.

To expedite the negotiations, Indonesia has already sent some documents to Bangladesh regarding the proposed BI-PTA agreement.

In September last year, Dhaka sought a revised list of goods on which Jakarta could offer tariff concession for Bangladeshi products before signing the proposed PTA, an official said.

Bilateral free-trade or preferential-trade pact is a matter of negotiations between two countries.

No country does come forward if a deal goes against its interests, a trade source said.

Indonesia proposed that the signing of the agreement could be conducted at the 37th Trade Expo Indonesia on October last.

Both Dhaka and Jakarta have already exchanged the lists of 300 products each.

The proposed PTA was due for signing in 2021 but delayed as Bangladeshi RMG products were in the list of 48 goods.

During the Jakarta tour in July 2022, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen had talks with the Indonesian ministers of trade and industries.

Both sides reviewed the current state of bilateral trade and stressed concluding PTA this year marking the golden jubilee of the Dhaka-Jakarta diplomatic ties.

Momen requested the Indonesian side to favourably consider inclusion of RMG items in the products’ list under the PTA to address the trade gap between the two.

The volume of import-export trade between Bangladesh and Indonesia stood at $1.9 billion in FY22.

Indonesia is a large market for Bangladeshi medicines, agricultural products, poultry, jute and leather goods and footwear.

The volume of export was more than $78 million in the same fiscal year.

 source: Dhaka Tribune