Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has signed a joint statement on the finalization of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Indonesia and European Free Trade Association/EFTA (IE-CEPA) in EFTA Secretariat in Geneva.

The joint statement was signed by Enggartiasto and four ministers of EFTA member countries, namely Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway, marking the completion of negotiation between Indonesia and EFTA member countries through the IE-CEPA scheme.

"Today, the five countries are happy that finally the seven years of IE-CEPA negotiations is finalized. It is a milestone for Indonesia`s relations with the four EFTA countries," Enggartiasto said in a statement obtained here on Sunday.

According to the minister, the agreement would need legal scrubbing and translation before it could be signed in Jakarta on December.

"Indonesia and EFTA are committed to finalize the negotiation this year. Therefore, negotiators have worked intensively to address remaining issues, and finally the negotiation was completed in November 1, 2018 in Bali," he elaborated.

Under the IE-CEPA, market access for goods from both Indonesia and EFTA countries would be wider, including for services and investment as well as cooperation in economy and capacity building.

In the trade of goods, Indonesia will get wider access to EFTA markets for its fishery products, industry (textile, furniture, bicycle, electronics, car wheels), and agriculture commodities including coffee and palm oil.

In services sector, Indonesian workers that include intra-corporate trainee, trainee, contract service supplier, independent professional, and young professional, will have a wider access to EFTA countries.

Sectors in telecommunication, financial, transportation and education would take the benefit of the agreement.

Indonesia would also see an increased in investment from EFTA member countries in energy and mining sector, machinery, agriculture, fishery infrastructure, forestry, chemical industry, and others.

The agreement wold also boost cooperation and capacity building in fishery sector, aquamarine, export promotion, tourism, small and medium enterprises, sustainability, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul), and vocational education.

"EFTA is a trade group in Europe that we have yet to explore the market potential. With the finalization of the IE-CEPA, we hope that market share in the respective countries could be optimized and become an entry gate to European market," Enggartiasto said.

The minister has also conducted a discussion with stakeholders in Geneva to socialize the IE-CEPA.

"The business forum has become an event to popularize the first stage of IE-CEPA, and to optimize the benefits of the agreement.

"Indonesian business operators who have business partners in EFTA countries are ready to increase their b-to-b transaction with businessmen in EFTA region," the minister remarked.
Reporting by Sella Panduarsa Gareta, Sri Haryati
Editing by Yosep Haryadi

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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