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Let’s speed up Indonesia-EU CEPA negotiations: Jokowi

Jakarta Globe - 19 April 2023

Let’s speed up Indonesia-EU CEPA negotiations: Jokowi
By Jayanty Nada Shofa

Indonesia once again called for the conclusion of the lengthy negotiations on its trade pact with the European Union (EU).

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday raised the subject of the long-awaited Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) when receiving a visit from Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The Indonesia-EU CEPA negotiations have had 13 rounds so far since the talks began in 2016.

"We need to push for the conclusion of the Indonesia-EU CEPA negotiations," Jokowi said in a joint presser with Fiala at the Bogor Palace.

Similar calls are coming from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). Shinta Kamdani, the coordinating vice chairwoman for maritime, investment, and foreign affairs at Kadin, also told Czech businesses that wrapping up the Indonesia-EU CEPA talks could give a boost to bilateral trade.

“There are several strategic measures that could be taken to proactively foster trade expansion. This includes expediting the finalization of the Indonesia-EU CEPA,” Shinta said at the Indonesia-Czech business forum in Jakarta on Tuesday evening.

Vladimír Dlouhý, the president of the Czech Chamber of Commerce and Eurochambers, said he expected to see some major breakthroughs and finalization of the negotiations this year.

“We strongly believe in free trade,” Dlouhý told Indonesian reporters on the sidelines of the same forum.

“This is an important document that will not only improve the relations between the EU and Indonesia but also the EU’s ties with ASEAN countries," Dlouhý added.

According to the Trade Ministry, the Indonesia-EU CEPA has gone through 13 rounds of negotiations with the latest talks taking place in February. The next round is slated for May 8-12 in Brussels, Belgium.

The ministry revealed that the 13th round saw “major progress” in the text discussions, particularly regarding good regulatory practice (GRP) and the geographical indications section in the intellectual property rights chapter. The GRP became the second chapter that both sides had “agreed on in substance” after the sanitary and phytosanitary chapter.

Government data shows Indonesia-EU trade stood at $33.2 billion in 2022. Indonesia’s exports last year reached $21.5 billion. The Southeast Asian country’s imports from the European bloc totaled $11.7 billion.

 source: Jakarta Globe