EFTA meets Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Association to highlight mutual benefits of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

Published 14-03-2016
At the information event, Ambassador Didier Chambovey, Chief Negotiator for the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) launched a new brochure on the negotiations between EFTA and Indonesia on an IE-CEPA on behalf of the four EFTA States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Ambassador Chambovey and Heads of Delegation from the other EFTA States met with the Indonesian Chief Negotiator, Ambassador Soemadi Brotodiningrat, on 14 March in Jakarta in preparation for the resumption of negotiations on an Indonesia-EFTA Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA). On the occasion of this meeting the EFTA Secretariat, together with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and the Employers’ Association of Indonesia (APINDO), hosted an information event at which EFTA presented its organisation and highlighted its economic strengths and the mutual benefits of an IE-CEPA.

An assessment from an Indonesian perspective was also presented, followed by a general discussion among participants, moderated by Ms Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Vice Chair of KADIN and APINDO. Speakers at the event were Ambassador Brotodiningrat, Ambassador Chambovey and EFTA Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Martin Zbinden and Ms. Hilde Solbakken, Deputy to the Norwegian Embassy of Indonesia.

The new brochure points out that Indonesia’s merchandise trade with EFTA has nearly tripled in ten years, and two-thirds of exports to EFTA are in Indonesia’s priority sectors for trade. Overall, Indonesia’s exports to EFTA have grown faster than exports to the rest of the world.

Merchandise trade between EFTA and Indonesia amounted to USD 2.3 billion in 2015. The EFTA States exported goods to Indonesia worth USD 737 million in 2015, the main export categories being machinery and pharmaceuticals. EFTA imported goods from Indonesia amounting to USD 1.5 billion in 2015, primarily precious stones and metals, footwear and electric machinery. Investors from the EFTA States have a significant presence in Indonesia. In 2012, the stock of EFTA foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia amounted to approximately USD 7.7 billion.

The potential mutual benefits of a CEPA between EFTA and Indonesia include the creation of opportunities and further growth in different sectors, a greater flow of FDI, the spurring of transfer of technologies and job creation, as well as a framework for cooperation and exchange of know-how.

The EFTA States are significant players on the international economic scene as both trading and investment partners, and represent a sizeable market, comparable to those of Australia or South Korea, with high purchasing power. EFTA has one of the most extensive networks of free trade and economic partnership agreements worldwide, which generate increased trade and investment by providing businesses with an open, predictable and legally secure framework.

Preparations for negotiations on a CEPA between Indonesia and the EFTA States began in 2005 and negotiations were launched in 2010. Since then, nine negotiating rounds and a number of Heads and expert meetings have been held. The negotiations were put on hold in May 2014, awaiting the parliamentary and presidential elections in Indonesia, and the aim is to resume these at the earliest possibility.

The EFTA-Indonesia information brochure can be found in English and Bahasa Indonesia here:
www.efta.int/publications/efta-indonesia-cepa

Senior Officer
Trade Relations Division

+41 223322 634