Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia and the Philippines have discussed a proposal to organise dialogues in copper and textiles, taking each other’s advantages and boost economic and trade links between the two countries.

At the virtual 8th Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Trade, Investments, Handicrafts and Shipping held on August 11, Iman Pambagyo, Director-General for International Trade Negotiations at Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, and Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, agreed to finalise a number of Memoranda of Understanding on investment promotion, halal products quality assurance, and the creative economy.

The two sides also agreed to hold dialogues on cooperation in copper and textiles within the year in order to exchange information on best practices and current industry regulations, and discuss collaboration activities, with the participation from both the government and private sector.

They consented that in the long term, these dialogues are seen as avenues to boost the manufacturing capabilities of the two countries’ industrial sectors through the infusion of investments and technology.

The Indonesian side proposed increasing cooperation in fisheries and border trade.

The Philippines is committed to consider the proposals given its relevance to both the Philippines and Indonesia as archipelagic states with common borders and taking into account the developments in sub-regional integration, Undersecretary Rodolfo said.

The two countries also committed to work on outstanding issues with the end view of enhancing the business environment affecting the operations of both sides’ businesses.

The JWG serves as a focused mechanism to discuss trade, investments, economic cooperation and other issues affecting the business environment, apart from the regular engagement of both countries under the ASEAN framework.

In 2019, Indonesia was the Philippines’ 8th trading partner, with total two-way trade hitting 7.5 billion USD. Indonesia was also the Philippines’ 13th export market, 6th import source (out of 191), and 27th source of approved investments./.