Indonesia’s Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong announced at a press conference on Monday (July 18, 2016) that formal negotiations on the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IEU-CEPA) can begin now. The EU Commission received an official mandate from the member countries and has completed its internal procedures. The CEPA is expected to widen strategic relations between the two partners especially in the field of economy.
In April this year the scoping paper drafting out the agreements between Indonesia and the EU have been finished. This paper then formed the basis on which the EU Council issued a mandate allowing the EU Commission to conduct negotiations. Based on the scoping paper, the two partners will start talks in issues such as trade of goods, customs, trade facilities and technical regulations in the fields of sanitary. Further topics will be technical regulations in trade barriers, service trade, government spending and intellectual rights, in addition to business competition, policy transparency, dispute settlement, sustainable trade and development.
According to Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the total trade between Indonesia and the EU reached US$ 26.1 billion in 2015, while Indonesia’s exports to the EU were recorded with US$ 14.8 billion and imports from the EU to Indonesia reached US$ 11.3 billion. Total investments between the two partners between 2005 and 2015 reached US$ 9.8 billion with focus on construction, transportation, food crops, plantation and the mining sector.
Indonesia is the EUs fifth largest partner in Southeast Asia and the 30th largest globally. Machinery, transportation equipment, chemical products and services are among the main exports of the EU to Indonesia. On the other hand, the EU is Indonesia’s fourth biggest trade partner with agricultural and fishery products, furniture, engine components, textiles, footwear, plastic and rubber products as the country’s main exports.