"In order to facilitate our bilateral trade, we are expecting that the first round of negotiation of the Indonesia-Bangladesh Preferential Trade could be started soon," Indonesian Ambassador to Bangladesh Rina Soemarno noted here on Wednesday.
The plan to create the Indonesia-Bangladesh PTA was signed during Indonesian President Joko Widodo`s visit to Bangladesh in early 2018, in which bilateral trade will be facilitated with some special export and import tariffs.
Ambassador Soemarno expressed hope that the first negotiation would begin in December 2018, adding that the bilateral PTA would benefit both countries, considering that Indonesia is currently the fifth-largest importer in Bangladesh.
At the same time, Indonesia has been striving to expand its market to Bangladesh, where its trade volume reached a surplus of 80 percent.
Indonesia`s main export commodities to Bangladesh vary from palm oil, textile, rubber, wood pulp, nuts, paper, cotton, spices, handicrafts, synthetic fiber, chemical products, iron bar, copper, and other mining goods, to train cars made by Indonesian state-owned company PT INKA.
Indonesia imports some commodities -- burlap bags and sacks, paper bags, steel sheets, and clothes -- from Bangladesh.
Reporting by Yuni Arisandy, Azizah Fitriyanti
Editing by Yoseph Haryadi