By THE JAKARTA POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
“In this round, we’ll follow up modal [negotiations], levelling perceptions of each party’s ambitions and clarifying drafts suggested by each delegate,” Iman Pambagyo, director-general of international trade negotiations with the Indonesian Trade Ministry, said in a press statement.
“Only then in the next rounds will we have comprehensive negotiations. Hence this round is crucial to determine the direction ahead.”
The IEU-CEPA study has been conducted since 2010 but the scoping paper had been in progress since 2012 until it was concluded last year, before the first round of negotiations proceeded in Brussels in September.
With the aim of concluding the negotiations by next year, the deal could improve trade, investment and training cooperation between the two parties through a lack of tariffs and other facilities, its proponents claim.
Indonesia is Europe’s fifth-biggest trading partner among Southeast Asian countries and 30th-biggest of countries worldwide. Europe, meanwhile, is Indonesia’s fourth-largest trading partner.
In 2015, exports and imports between the EU and Indonesia were worth US$26.1 billion (Bt919.5 billion), with Indonesia enjoying a surplus of $3.5 billion, Trade Ministry data showed.