Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Chile's Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yáñez Benítez exchanged the Instrument of Ratification (IoR) of the Indonesia-Chile Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IC-CEPA).

"The implementation of the IC-CEPA is a historic moment. Apart from being the first trade agreement with the South American country, IC-CEPA will also open the door for Indonesian export products in the South American region," Trade Minister Lukita remarked here on Tuesday.

The trade minister will make Chile a connecting nation for Indonesian export products in South America owing to its strategic location.

The IoR exchange is a crucial legal procedure before the implementation of IC-CEPA. In line with the mandate decided in the agreement, IC-CEPA will take effect 60 days after the exchange of the IoR, specifically on August 10, 2019.

Before the IoR exchange event, Lukita and Benítez had met to deliberate on the most effective and optimal utilization of IC-CEPA.

"I convey to Deputy Minister Rodrigo the significance of this agreement for benefiting businesspersons in both countries. Hence, trade will increase between both nations. To this end, we invite the Chilean government to jointly publicize the benefits and opportunities of IC-CEPA," the trade minister emphasized.

Moreover, Lukita has suggested to Chile to organize a similar series of activities to spread the word around in Chile by inviting the Indonesian Embassy in Santiago.

The two governments had inked the IC-CEPA on December 14, 2017, in Santiago, Chile. Through IC-CEPA, the two countries will be able to enjoy preference rates to export to their respective markets.

After almost 18 months of ratification in each country, on June 11, 2019, the process was officially completed by both nations.

This process is carried out in Indonesia by issuing Presidential Regulation No. 11 of 2019 on the Ratification of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Republic of Chile.

Through IC-CEPA, 89.6 percent of Chile's tariff posts will be removed for Indonesian products entering the Chilean market, while Indonesia will eliminate 86.1 percent of its tariff posts for products imported from Chile.

Indonesia's main products to receive preference comprise palm oil and its derivatives, paper and pulp, fisheries, food and beverage, automotive products, footwear, furniture, jewelry, sorbitol, and textile products.

On the basis of the agreement, once the IC-CEPA is implemented, both nations will continue negotiations to the subsequent stage of trade in the service sector and investment.

"After the goods tariff agreement, the next stage is negotiations in the services and investment fields, as IC-CEPA is done gradually. Further discussions through the IC-CEPA Joint Committee will be held for the deadline," the trade minister concluded.

Translator: Sella / Azis Kurmala
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
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