Indonesia-Malaysia to reactivate border trade agreement negotiation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will reactivate negotiations to review the Border Trade Agreement (BTA) with Malaysia, as part of efforts to improve peoples welfare in the bordering regions.

The Director of Bilateral Negotiations at the Trade Ministry, Ni Made Ayu Marthini, said in a statement here on Friday, that the border trade agreement could not accommodate both countries interests anymore.

"Review of Indonesia-Malaysia BTA is crucial for both countries, because the current BTA signed in 1970 cannot accommodate border trade activities anymore between Indonesia and Malaysia," Ni said at the opening of a meeting on border trade in Tarakan, North Kalimantan.

The last negotiation to review the agreement was held in 2011, which had left some issues unsolved.

The next negotiation is planned to be held on April 6 and 7 in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, to discuss six issues, namely scope, border pass, threshold value for border trade, cooperation, general exceptions and security exceptions, in relation to other agreements.

The coordinated meeting has involved stakeholders, especially for formulating Indonesias position in the BTA negotiation.

"It will need commitments from all parties to address the issue of transportation, logistics and infrastructure in border area. Thus, it would ensure adequate supply of basic necessities at a normal price," Ni said.

An official from the Home Ministry, Fani Panjaitan, said the government has provided the initial revision concept of Border Cross Agreement.

"The Border Trade Agreement revision is expected to run simultaneously with negotiations to revise the border cross agreement signed in 1967," Fani said.

Meetings of the BTA review working group have been conducted twice, on July 21 and 22, 2009 in Bandung and on December 8 and 9, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

During the second Joint Trade and Investment Committee's meeting in Jakarta, both governments agreed to reactivate the working group on BTA to renew the decades-old agreement.

Reported by Vicki Febrianto
(S022/INE)
EDITED BY INE
(T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/A014)

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