The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian government has been advised to accelerate its Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which consists of four countries — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — in order to boost investment and trade.
The 13th round of Indonesia-EFTA CEPA negotiations was held in November, 2017, while the 14th round is scheduled for this year.
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) economic department chairman Yose Rizal Damuri said the deal with the EFTA was expected to ease trade barriers for Indonesian products, not only those going to EFTA members, but also to countries on the European continent.
“The deal will also improve our relationship with the European Union because the EFTA and the EU have parallel standards and technical regulations. It will help Indonesia penetrate the European market,” Yose said at the Indonesia-EFTA CEPA discussion organized by the University of Indonesia in Depok, West Java on Thursday.
Meanwhile, National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) trade, investment, and international economic cooperation director Yahya Rachman Hidayat said the government expected the completion of the Indonesia-EFTA CEPA to increase investment from EFTA member countries.
He explained that in 2014, investment from EFTA member countries only accounted for 0.5 percent of the total foreign investment in Indonesia, but in 2017 the figure increased to 4 percent. “I expect that the EFTA’s investment in Indonesia can be increased to double digits,” Yahya said. (ami)