JAKARTA, May 5 — Indonesia and the European Union (EU) announced that they agreed to double trade and strengthen the investment climate through capacity building and increasing funding, local media reported here on Thursday.
Indonesia Trade 迷你ster Mari Elka Pangestu said both parties decided to bring their relationship to the next level. “We realized trade growth with the EU has not been as fast as Indonesia’s growth with other countries. We decided that building capacity is necessary because there is a difference on the level of development between the two,” she said on Wednesday.
She said the capacity building would be in the form of bringing EU expertise and technology transfers to increase Indonesia’s quality standards to meet EU market requirements.
“Indonesia’s trade value with the EU reached 27 billion U.S. dollars last year, an increase of 21 percent from 17 billion dollars a year earlier. It is realistic that we set a target to double trade in the next three to five years,” she was quoted by the Jakarta Globe as saying.
In 2009, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, established the Vision Group, a collection of stakeholders, business players and academics from both sides to give high-level recommendations that would be brought to the negotiation table on how to promote trade.
“The group handed us their recommendations today. They cover important issues such as standardization and sustainable trade,” Mari said.
Among the recommendations are decreasing key tariffs on both sides by up to 95 percent, standardization and certification of Indonesian products to EU standards and creating sustainable trade in palm oil and cocoa.
Karel de Gucht, trade commissioner for the EU, said in his first official visit to Indonesia that creating common standards was an important strategy to boost trade. “The EU will provide 30 million euros (about 44.7 million dollars) to promote the investment climate and export-oriented businesses,” he said.