EFTA | 13-02-2012
Parliamentarians from EFTA and Indonesia support comprehensive economic partnership
A delegation from the EFTA Parliamentary Committee visited Jakarta, Indonesia, from 7 to 10 February. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss the merits of strengthened EFTA-Indonesia trade relations with legislators, officials and stakeholders, and to support the ongoing negotiations between EFTA and Indonesia on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA).
The delegation, chaired by Ms Kathy Riklin, Member of Parliament of Switzerland, held a very positive exchange of views with the Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, Mr Pramono Anung, and representatives of the relevant Commissions. At this meeting, both sides underlined that a CEPA would create a win-win situation for businesses, workers and consumers on both sides, in particular because the Indonesian and EFTA economies are of a largely complementary nature. The parliamentarians also discussed trade and sustainable development, and capacity building as part of the agreement. The Parliaments play an important role as they will eventually ratify the agreement.
The delegation met with the Indonesian Chief Negotiator, Ambassador Soemadi Brotodiningrat. He highlighted that EFTA had been carefully selected as its second partner to enter into bilateral negotiations with towards a trade agreement, and underlined the positive atmosphere of the negotiations so far. He was optimistic for further progress towards an agreement that would takes the partners’ different levels of economic development into account.
Meeting with Minister of Trade
This view was reiterated by the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Wardana, with whom the delegation discussed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Doha Agenda, in which Indonesia plays a key role.
The delegation also met with key stakeholders from, among others, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, KADIN, and the largest employers’ organisation, APINDO, who expressed their hopes for rapid progress in the negotiations.
Finally, the delegation had a very positive meeting with the Indonesian Minister of Trade, Mr Gita Wirjawan, who regarded the potential merits of a CEPA to be so large that the negotiations would proceed more rapidly in the coming year, producing results that the stakeholders would stand behind.