Negotiation started in Maputo on May 31 and June 1 at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. (Photo: Direktorat Perundingan Bilateral Facebook)


Jakarta (VNA)
- Indonesia and Mozambique have kicked off their first-ever negotiations for a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) following a joint commitment reached during the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) in April this year, according to the Indonesian Trade Ministry.

ANTARA News quoted the ministry’s bilateral trade negotiation director, Ni Made Ayu Marhini, as saying that the first round took place in Maputo on May 31 and June 1. Most articles had been agreed on by the two countries.

"Our counterparts in Mozambique had welcomed our proposals on the agreement. As a result, the two parties have completed most articles of the PTA`s draft," she said in a statement on June 5.

Marhini, who led the Indonesian delegation, said that when the negotiations were completed by the year-end, Indonesia would have its first PTA with an African nation. "After the IAF in Bali, we (the two countries) are committed to establish the PTA," she added.

The PTA was aimed at easing tariffs on products of both countries. Mozambique, she noted, is a potential hub in Africa for Indonesia`s exports. There is huge potential for more collaboration between the two countries, including in raw materials.

According to statistics, two-way trade between Indonesia and Mozambique in the 2013-2017 period declined by 23.75 percent, but Indonesia`s trade balance with Mozambique remains positive.

The total trade between the two countries increased by 82.2 percent from 44.5 million USD in 2016 to 54.1 million USD in 2017.

Indonesian products that can be exported to Mozambique include soap, palm oil, cement, margarine and paper. Indonesia can import nuts, ferro-alloys, raw tobacco and cotton from Mozambique.-VNA