On Thursday (July 6), the minister launched Indonesia-Turkey Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IT-CEPA) negotiations, which was witnessed by President Joko Widodo and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at White Palace, Ankara.
"Our trade value with Turkey reached US$1.3 billion in 2016, decreasing by 14 percent from that of the previous year. But on the other side Malaysia increased by 49.11 percent. One of the causes of declining is tariffs," Enggartiasto said.
He explained that Turkey-Malaysia trade volume increased significantly because of an FTA agreement between the two countries that imposes free trade tariffs for commodities, including CPO (Crude Palm Oil).
Therefore, Indonesia and Turkey made IT-CEPA in order to deal with this issue.
"It is expected that by the end of this year or early next year, we will agree and start with trade in goods first," Enggartiasto stated, adding that the partnership is expected to increase the trade volume of two countries, considering the close bilateral relations and long history of friendship between the two countries.
Enggartiasto considered that Jokowis state visit to Turkey would have a positive impact on Indonesias trade sector.
"In yesterdays business forum, the Turkish business players were very interested to enlarge investment," he noted.
The abolition of import duty to zero percent, is very likely to be realized, he added.
In the near future, Indonesia and Turkey will submit a list of commodities that are free of the import and export duties.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rosan P. Roeslani, remarked that the business world, especially in Indonesia, have some issues regarding trade tariffs.
"The tariff makes us uncompetitive. If it can be eliminated, it would be very helpful for us as we can also increase the trading volume, develop businesses, and create employment," he revealed.
Rosan added that the potential cooperation in business include investment in the field of power plant and marine tourism, especially the construction of international dock.
"We will see the potential at some places such as in West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, and some other spots," he explained.
EDITED BY INE.