InfoSAWIT, SURAKARTA –The negotiation of Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) was in the fourth round on 19-23 February 2018 in Surakarta, Central Java. The negotiation was the continuity of the third round that was held in September 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.
Delegation of Indonesia was led by General Director of International Trade Negotiation, Ministry of Trade, Iman Pambagyo, and consists of some governmental institutions that were in charge on the issues. While the Head of Negotiator of European Union was Helena König, Director for Asia and Latin Amerika, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission.
In the fourth round, Indonesia would be intensive to the market access negotiation and discuss agreement documents. “We noticed that the fourth round is important to get the substantial negotiation, both for the market access negotiation, namely the service and goods trade and text negotiation,” Iman Pambagyo said in the official statement to InfoSAWIT.
One interest of Indonesia is to solve the trade barrier in palm oil products in the European Union countries. One case that specifically becomes highlight is the Decision of European Union Parliament on 17 January 2018 about the increasing of renewable energy usage to be 35% in 2030 and the ban of palm oil usage for biofuel in 2021. Indonesia is sorry for what European Parliament decided that is discriminative by differentiating palm oil from other biofuel made of other kinds of vegetable oil. Both sides would made special discussion about sustainability issues and palm oil in Surakarta.
Indonesia and European Union would keep making consultation with the stakeholders to get the profitable agreement. In the spare-time of the negotiation, both sides would make audience with the representatives of the business world and industries, special discussion with civil society organizations. “In the end, the trade agreement should make profits and advantage for the stakeholders, both from the business world, and the civil society organizations. The communication should run and their input and concern should be noticed,” Imam said.
In general, the business world supports the solution of CEPA and some labor industries even proposed to implement the agreement faster.
In 2017, European Union was the sixth biggest export countries and the fourth biggest import countries for Indonesia within the transaction reaching US$ 16,2billionand US$ 11,2 billion for each. While the total trade between both sides reaching US$ 27,4billion. In the last five years, the trade balance of the both showed surplus for Indonesia. While the European Union investment in Indonesia just reached US$ 2,8billion. (T2)