Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto has expressed hope that the United Kingdom will not follow the European Union that has recently issued the EU Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR).

Hartarto made the statement during his meeting with the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Richard Graham, here Wednesday.

Hartarto argued that the EUDR potentially harms small-scale farmers of Indonesia's primary export commodities, especially palm oil.

Hartarto discussed derivative regulations from the Due Diligence on Forest Risk Commodities being formulated by the UK, according to a press statement that ANTARA received in the aftermath of the meeting.

Hence, to this end, Indonesia is ready to hold further discussions to align its perception with the UK to figure out fair and non-discriminative steps and meeting points that both parties can accept, he affirmed.

At the meeting, Graham expressed the UK's support for Indonesia's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023.

Indonesia lauds UK's support, both in the ASEAN Chairmanship agenda and Indonesia's bilateral relations with the UK that have been well-developed and maintained, Hartarto stated.

Graham noted that the UK, as ASEAN's dialogue partner, has given its support to Indonesia's two Priority Economic Deliverables (PED).

These comprise priority related to development of the industry initiative framework in the ASEAN and formulation of road map to support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.

As one of Indonesia's biggest trading partners in Europe, the UK has also expressed its readiness to support industrial downstreaming, electric vehicle ecosystem, and economic digitalization in Indonesia.

In response to the UK's plan to develop Indonesia's education sector, Hartarto stated that the UK government can cooperate with the University of Brawijaya and Singasari Special Economic Zone in Malang, East Java.

The country can also apply similar cooperation models that have been implemented in Monash University, Apple Academy, and IBM Academy, he pointed out.

Indonesia and the UK also underscored their intent to explore the possibility of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations through the economic and trade cooperation dialogue platform Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

Both parties can stand to benefit from this cooperation. Indonesia has a huge domestic market and its manufactured products can also be exported and be complementary in nature, Hartarto noted.

Related news: UK reaffirms commitment to supporting Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship

Translator: Sanya Dinda S, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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