Participants at the signing ceremony of a joint statement on the completion of the IE-CEPA (Source: efta.int)

Jakarta (VNA) – A joint statement was signed on November 25 on the completion of negotiations for an Indonesia-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).

The statement was inked by Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita and ministers from four EFTA members – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland - in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to Minister Enggartiasto, negotiations for the IE-CEPA came to an end after lasting for seven years, marking a new milestone in partnership between the Southeast Asian country and the four EFTA members.

As Indonesia and the four EFTA members committed to finalise negotiations this year, they worked hard together to deal with remaining issues and completed the rounds on November 1.

With the IE-CEPA, Indonesia will get better access to exporting products such as coffee, palm oil, fisheries, textile and furniture, the statement said.

Members of the EFTA will gain access to investment in Indonesia, including in the energy and mining sectors.

The next step is for “legal scrubbing” and translation so the agreement is ready to be signed in Jakarta in December, the statement said.

In 2017, Indonesia-EFTA trade was worth 2.4 billion USD, with Indonesia having a surplus of 212 million USD.

Minister Enggartiasto said that EFTA members are markets that Indonesia has yet to fully explore. With the signing of the deal, Indonesia hopes to optimise its market share in the economies and turn them into a gateway to enter the European market, he added.-VNA