The Member of the Board (Minister) for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), Andrey Slepnev, and the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Zulkifli Hasan, signed a joint statement on launching negotiations on concluding a free trade agreement. As reported by the Eurasian Economic Commission, the document, in particular, fixes the agreement on holding the first negotiation round in Q1 2023.
“The Eurasian Economic Union attaches great importance to the development of mutually beneficial co-operation with Indonesia, which is one of our main trading partners in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole,” Mr. Slepnev said. “It is necessary to use the remaining untapped potential: as the study showed, trade liberalisation can increase turnover by another $1.5bn.”
At the same time, the EEC Minister stated that there are prospects for agricultural goods, which traditionally make up the majority of the EAEU imports from Indonesia, and for industrial products that are actively traded in both directions. In his opinion, interaction between the EAEU and Indonesian business communities needs to be promoted to ensure effective implementation of the future agreement. This will be facilitated by holding forums, trade and investment fairs, seminars, and mutual assistance in finding partners.
"We propose to organise a bilateral business dialogue within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Forum in the spring of 2023, and this could become a platform for us to further discuss the prospects for deepening co-operation,” Mr. Slepnev added, expressing hope for Indonesia's support for the event.
According to the EEC, from January-September 2022, the EAEU-Indonesia trade turnover increased by 48.4 percent compared to the same period in 2021, while exports from the EAEU increased more than 2.5-fold. Imports rose by almost 16 percent.