The European Union (EU) and Indonesia on September 30 signed an agreement to fight the trade of illegal timber.

The deal aims to stop all illegal logging and prevent contraband Indonesian timber products from entering the EU market, according to European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik.

It also contributes to environmental protection and builds customer trust in the Southeast Asian nation’s timber products, he said.

The EU is negotiating with Laos , Malaysia , Thailand and Vietnam to reach a similar pact.

Indonesia is the leading Asian timber exporter to the EU and the first nation in the region to strike such an agreement.

It is also home to the world’s third largest expanse of rainforest.-VNA