Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - Head of the Batam Free-Trade Zone Agency (BP Batam) Muhammad Rudi has invited the European Union (EU) to contribute to the development of Batam City, Riau Islands.

"I offer the EU to contribute to Batam City's development. I hope this working visit can have an impact on the city's industrial progress," he said while receiving EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Piket, here on Tuesday.

Rudi affirmed that his agency is committed to maintaining the investment climate in Batam city by providing ease of licensing and encouraging infrastructure development.

With the acceleration of investment realization, Rudi said he is optimistic that the economic growth of Batam city will also increase.

"BP Batam guarantees ease of licensing to support investment so that it contributes to regional economic growth. I also welcome this visit as an effort to encourage sustainable development," he added.

Ambassador Piket said that his side is still waiting for the completion of the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA) negotiations.

Under IEU-CEPA, Indonesia and the EU have agreed to address trade disputes and make the agreement an alternative solution to economic, trade, and investment problems.

He saw the location of Batam City is very strategic and good for investment development. He met a lot of EU companies that are looking for places to invest, Piket said.

According to him, Batam City can attract many EU companies because of the ease of licensing.

He expressed the hope that the EU will realize cooperation with Batam city so that it can contribute to regional development soon.

The IEU-CEPA negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

IEU-CEPA can improve trade and investment cooperation between Indonesia and the EU, specifically in the sporting goods industry, which has shown a positive trend, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto informed.

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Translator: Ilham P, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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