Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan echoed Indonesia's seriousness in increasing its trade commitments with New Zealand under the ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

"Indonesia continues to show its commitment in finalizing the increase in AANZFTA cooperation. The signing of the Second Protocol to Amend AANZFTA is also one of our economic priority achievements as Chair of ASEAN 2023. For this reason, Indonesia hopes that increased AANZFTA cooperation can be realized soon," Hasan noted in his statement received here, Saturday.

The minister conveyed this message during a meeting with New Zealand's Minister of Trade and Export Development Damien O'Connor in Detroit, the United States.

He noted that the increase in AANZFTA cooperation aims to further facilitate and provide benefits for the business sector. Improvement is also important as an anticipatory measure against challenges that may arise in future.

Apart from discussing increased cooperation in AANZFTA, Hasan and O'Connor also discussed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) cooperation.

He stated that Indonesia supports the Indo-Pacific region that is free, fair, open, and interconnected to achieve sustainable economic growth.

"I also support IPEF to have concrete achievements to prove that IPEF provides real benefits," he added.

Indonesia officially joined IPEF on May 27, 2022, while the IPEF Joint Launch and Ministerial Meeting was held on May 23, 2022, in Tokyo, Japan.

Meanwhile, O'Connor said that New Zealand hopes the APEC forum can be more relevant and drive the synergy of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), IPEF, and AANZFTA to increase cooperation.

He expressed optimism that cooperation with Indonesia would also develop, especially in the livestock sector. Issues raised included cooperation in handling foot and mouth disease and cooperation in dairy farming. Another topic discussed was the direct flight service on the Bali-Auckland route boosting connectivity between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Indonesia sought New Zealand's support regarding the support unit funding mechanism for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement (RCEP).

The meeting between Minister Hasan and Minister O'Connor took place on the sidelines of a series of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible For Trade (MRT) meetings on May 25-26, 2023.

In 2022, the total trade between Indonesia and New Zealand had reached US$2.1 billion. Indonesia's exports were recorded at US$731.9 million, while its imports were valued at US$1.4 billion.

As for the January-March 2023 period, the total trade between Indonesia and New Zealand was recorded at US$453.8 million, with Indonesia's export value worth US$166.4 million and its imports valued at US$287.4 million.

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Translator: Aji Cakti, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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