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Jakarta Post

Indonesia to discuss trade agreements during IORA meetings

  • Stefani Ribka

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 4, 2017   /  03:04 pm
Indonesia to discuss trade agreements during IORA meetings Messenger: Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi (left) hands an official invitation for the upcoming Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders' Summit to South African President Jacob Zuma (center) in Cape Town, South Africa, in this file photo. (Foreign Affairs Ministry/file)

The Trade Ministry will approach six countries, mostly non-traditional markets, to try and expand Indonesian exports and discuss the potential of sealing trade agreements during a series of high-level meetings with members and partners of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) next week.

The six countries are the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa, Bangladesh, Iran, the United States and the United Kingdom (UK).

The UAE, South Africa, Bangladesh and Iran are IORA members, while the US and the UK are IORA partners that will participate in the meetings from March 5 to March 7.

(Read also: IORA members meet in Bali)

“We’ve agreed with Saudi Arabia to conduct a joint study [on a trade agreement] and we will discuss similar issues with the six countries during the IORA Summit,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Friday at a press conference on the IORA.

Inking trade agreements such as free trade agreements and preferential trade agreements is a crucial part of Indonesia’s strategy to boost exports in the middle-term.

The largest economy in Southeast Asia has struggled to maintain its export growth as the prices of commodities, which make up a sizeable portion of the country’s overseas shipments, have fallen over the past few years.

Overall exports declined by 3.95 percent to US$144.4 billion last year according to data from the Central Statistics Agency.

This year, the Trade Ministry will set a more moderate export growth target, hoping that exports will surge by 5.6 percent from an earlier projection of 11.9 percent. (lnd)