Director General of National Export Development (PEN) at the ministry Didi Sumedi, said that the MoU is a part of the ministry’s commitment to becoming the lead ministry (lead institution) in encouraging the export of value-added Indonesian products to the European market.
"The scope of cooperation includes capacity building, training, and knowledge transfer to the Directorate General of PEN personnel, which can strengthen the directorate general in providing export promotion information services to business actors and ensuring aspects of sustainability as well as digitalization in its implementation," said Sumedi in a written statement issued in Jakarta on Saturday.
The cooperation between the Ministry of Trade and the government of Switzerland is a concrete step toward implementing a comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Indonesia and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA CEPA) countries, which has been in full effect since November 2021, he explained.
"For this reason, the two countries want to strengthen the agreement, which can contribute to increasing trade value," Sumedi said.
The government of Switzerland has given the mandate for executing the MoU to the Swiss Import Promotion Program (SIPPO) as the implementing agency with the involvement of multiple stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Indonesian Essential Oil Council, Indonesian Organic Alliance, and associations of related business actors.
The main export products and lead institutions chosen for implementing the cooperation project are the Ministry of Trade for processed wood/technical wood products, the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs for natural ingredients, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for marine value-added products, and the Indonesian Essential Oil Council for essential oils.
"These products are Indonesia's leading exports, which are much needed in the Swiss market and other European countries. For this reason, this program is being carried out to ensure the continuity of product supply for Swiss consumers. We hope that Indonesia and Switzerland can become strategic partners that complement each others' needs, both goods and services," Sumedi said.
Meanwhile, Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia, Olivier Zehnder, said that the agreement not only aims to increase the value of the total trade between the two countries, but also strengthen their mutually beneficial strategic partnership.
The main requirement would be transparency in trade policies to ease market access and ensure supply chain sustainability, he said.
Based on data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), following the implementation of the Indonesia-EFTA (European Free Trade Association) Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in November 2021, the total trade between Indonesia and Switzerland reached US$2.75 billion in 2022, an increase of 38 percent from the previous year.
Indonesia's total non-oil and gas exports to Switzerland during the period were recorded at US$1.88 billion, an increase of 43 percent compared to the year-ago period. Meanwhile, Indonesia's imports from Switzerland in 2022 reached US$868.6 million, an increase of 28 percent compared to the previous year.
In 2022, exports of processed wood products and furniture were pegged at US$1.4 million, an increase of more than 100 percent compared to 2021. Exports of natural ingredients and essential oils were valued at US$6.6 million, or up 67 percent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the exports of fishery products reached US$755 thousand, up 27 percent compared to 2021.
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