Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan is optimistic that the United Kingdom (UK)-Indonesia Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) will boost both nations' trade.

During a meeting with the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and ASEAN Richard Graham here Monday, Hasan echoed his commitment to further exploring various opportunities to intensify trade relations between the two countries.

"I am optimistic that the cooperation program under the JETCO will help boost the two-way trade and investment between Indonesia and the UK. JETCO is one of the plenty of opportunities, in which the two countries can explore ways to elevate the trade and investment relationship to the next level," the minister noted in a written statement.

At the first Indonesia-UK JETCO meeting in early 2022, both parties agreed to form two sectoral working groups: Sectoral Working Group on Renewable Energy and Green Growth; and Sectoral Working Group on Foods, Beverages, and Agriculture.

Minister Hasan remarked that during the joint committee's second meeting, Indonesia and the UK are planning to form another working group that will function in the field of digital economy.

"We are still discussing the date options for the second JETCO meeting and will determine the date together. I hope that both parties will be able to explore trade agreements' negotiation potential in the meeting," he noted.

During the meeting with Graham, Hasan highlighted that Indonesia is keeping abreast of the developments in the UK's environmental policies, including the regulation on forestry products' due diligence and the draft policies on carbon leakage.

"Those two policies will potentially hinder Indonesia's exports to the UK. For that reason, Indonesia hopes that the UK will not formulate discriminative policies that will pose as obstacles to the trade activities," he emphasized.

On the occasion, the minister also expects UK's support for Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship this year. During its chairmanship, Indonesia is pushing for the achievement of the seven priority economic deliverables (PEDs) under the auspices of the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM).

The seven PEDs are divided into three strategic steps: recovery and rebuilding; digital economy; and sustainability.

"Indonesia is looking forward to (chairing) the meeting between the AEM and the UK that will take place in Semarang in August 2023," the minister remarked.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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