IA-CEPA negotiations to be completed this year

IA-CEPA negotiations to be completed this year

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in the middle of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi (left) and Chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong (right) during a working visit in Sydney, Australia, Saturday (Feb. 25, 2017). (AAP)

There has just been a discussion between Indonesian and Australian delegations in Canberra."
Sydney (ANTARA News) - The discussions around Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is hoped to be completed in 2017, Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Thomas Lembong, Head of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said.

"The Trade minister is also involved. There has just been a discussion between Indonesian and Australian delegations in Canberra," Lembong stated in Sydney on Saturday (Feb. 25).

He further noted that the negotiation team is currently delivering their report regarding the progress of the discussion to Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita.

"So far, we are targeting to have it completed by this year. We want the agreement to cover as much sectors as possible, because trade agreements are not being signed very often. Hence, the negotiation process needs to be maximized, as we might not do it again for another 7, 10, or 14 years to come," he remarked.

He believed that all parties involved need to be progressive in understanding the foundations of the economic partnership agreement.

Meanwhile, Retno stated that the sixth IA-CEPA agreement was held on Feb 24 (Friday).

"IA-CEPA is President Joko Widodos main discussion issue in this visit to Australia, and it is one of his priorities. I had also met Australias Foreign Minister Penny Wong and we also talked about IA-CEPA," she stated.

She further stated that each country surely has its own interests in the agreement, as they benefit the country and the people.

"For that reason, we strive to come up with a meeting point in the negotiations, and both countries have agreed to intensify the discussions," she remarked.

The minister hoped that the agreement would be completed this year, despite the ambitious targets.

(Reported by Agus Salim/Uu.KR-ARC/INE/KR-BSR/B003)