Indonesia-Australia CEPA negotiators to solve differences: Trade minister
The Jakarta Post
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has said negotiators of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA CEPA) will meet to settle the differences that could not be resolved in previous meetings.
"The negotiation team will sit together with their Australian counterpart. The team has to finalize discussion by the end of this month," the minister said after a Cabinet meeting on the economic partnership at the Vice Presidential Office in Jakarta over the weekend.
The minister did not reveal the exact date and place of the negotiations.
The negotiations were originally planned to conclude in November 2017, but the countries had failed to reach an agreement on a number of issues.
Enggartiasto said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had targeted to finalize the unsolved issues, particularly in regard to taxes, in August and planned to ink the agreement in October or in November.
Indonesian-Australian trade reached US$8.46 billion in 2016, with $3.19 billion in Australian exports to Indonesia and $5.26 billion in Indonesian exports to Australia.
Enggartiasto said the government would soon start trade talks with Morocco and Kenya, particularly in trying to agree on a preferential trade agreement (PTA).
"With African countries, the agreement is a PTA, which should be completed quicker as a PTA is not as complicated as an FTA [ free trade agreement] ," he said.
Indonesia will also open talks on FTAs with Egypt and Turkey. (bbn)
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