InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA–Four countries joining European Free Trade Association (EFTA), such as, Swiss, Liechtenstein, Island, and Norway; agreed to sign Indonesia-EFTA Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).
The signing was done by Minister of Trade, Indonesian Republic, Enggartiasto Lukita; Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture Liechtenstein, Aurelia Frick; State Secretary/Deputy Trade Minister, Kingdom of Norway, Daniel Bjarmann-Simonsen; and Icelandic Ambassador and Chief of Protocol, Hannes Heimisson; in the office of Ministry of Trade, Jakarta on Sunday (16/12/2018).
The negotiation of IE-CEPA runs for almost eight years, before it finally ended substantially by the negotiators in Bali on 29 October to 1 November 2018 and finally declared by the ministries on 23 November 2018 in Jeneva, Swiss.
“I am grateful because after signing Indonesia-Chile CEPA in December 2017 in Santiago, Chile; this year, Indonesia signed the other important agreement to promote the economic partnership with the countries in the Europe. Indonesia believed that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and EFTA would make the economy of Indonesia better, could compete, trigger the investors from EFTA to invest in,” Enggartiasto said in the official statement to InfoSAWIT.
The signing of the agreement runs when the world economy is not good and there is no certain trade among the countries in 2019 and the next. In this situation, the five countries make positive signal to the world that the friendly economic relationship through the preferential agreement is the best option to support the economic progress.
IE-CEPA covers the trade in goods, service, investment, intellectual rights, sustainable development, original provision, customs, trade facilities, trade security, business competition, legal, and cooperation and capacity development.
“The comprehensive coverage shows that the five countries have the same will to lift up the economic relationship higher. This would support the process of economic modernization in Indonesia knowing that the members of EFTA have their superiority in technology, energy, education, transportation, finance, chemistry, fishery, and others, within the support of the economic cooperation and our capacity development, it is hoped that there would be technolgy transfer naturally and automatically,” Enggar said.
Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann said that the agreement with Indonesia is expected by the businessmen in EFTA who want to develop their businesses in and with Indonesia as the regional hub in ASEAN. Actually, the billateral trade relationship between Indonesia and EFTA is not too potential for only having total transaction about US$ 2,4 billion in 2017.
A Glance about IE-CEPA
In the goods trade, Indonesia could have better access to EFTA, such as, fishery products, industries (textile, furniture, bicycle, electronics, and tire), agriculture (such as, coffee, and palm oil). Within IE-CEPA, the workers (labors) access from Indonesia (intra corporate trainee, trainee, contract service supplier, independent professional, andyoung professionals) to the countries of EFTA would be possible. Indonesia and EFTA also agreed to cooperate and develop the capacity in export promotion, tourism, Small Business, Intellectual Rights, cocoa, palm oil, education, vocational education, maritime and fishery industries.
On the other hand, EFTA could increase the market access to Indonesia for the gold, medicine, textile, chemistry, watch, mackerel, machine, juice, tanker, and parfume. The other commitments in IE-CEPA are the trade facilities. Through the commitments, the policy of trade or the customs procedure would be simpler and more transparent. Through IE-CEPA, Indonesia could offer the investment in the mainstay sectors in EFTA, such as, fishery, manufacture (food, textile, chemistry, pharmacy products), and energy. IE – CEPA is hoped to create the open, stable, and predictable business climate for the investors. (T2)