"The meeting today is very appropriate as in the next few weeks in July, Indonesia and the European Union will hold the next round of negotiations on CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement). Therefore, inputs from the meeting today are expected to have an impact on the negotiation," EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Piket, said at the EU - Indonesia CEPA Roadshow - South Sumatra, held virtually from Jakarta on Tuesday.
As it works to improve cooperation with Indonesia within the framework of CEPA, the EU delegation believes South Sumatra has huge potential, particularly in the fields of agriculture and other natural resources, he added.
The potential needs to be explored further to promote the welfare of the local people and boost the Indonesian and EU economies, Piket said.
The EU is currently the fourth largest market for Indonesian exports and the third largest supplier of imported goods to the country.
However, Indonesia is still lagging behind other ASEAN member states, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam, in terms of trade with EU.
Indonesia and the EU signed CEPA in 2016 to increase trade and investment.
An EU study has shown that the agreement could help Indonesia increase its trade with EU and its annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 5 billion euros by 2032.
On the other hand, the EU will be able to increase trade with Indonesia by up to 18 percent.
“This (potential 18-percent increase in trade) is (an) extraordinarily large amount," Piket stated.
Both sides still have to work hard to achieve that end, he said. The virtual visit to South Sumatra is part of a series of activities to achieve the goal, he added.
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