Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and the European Union (EU) have completed the 15th round of the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA) negotiations.

The Indonesian negotiation team is headed by Trade Ministry's Bilateral Negotiation Director, Johni Martha, while the EU team is led by the European Commission's Deputy Head of Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand Unit, Filip Deraedt.

"The two negotiating teams have exerted their best efforts in seeking creative solutions to issues on the IEU-CEPA negotiations. After the last round in Brussels, we are optimistic that substantial progress in the negotiation will be achieved," Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, Trade Ministry's Director General of International Trade Negotiation, stated.

As per the statement received here on Sunday (July 16), the two parties have concurred on Economic Cooperation and Capacity Building (ECCB), making it the seventh section of IEU-CEPA completed so far.

Meanwhile, Director Martha stated that the two parties continue to accelerate the progress in negotiations to adhere to instructions from President Joko Widodo and the EU leadership.

"Apart from completing the economic cooperation section, other working groups have also engaged in constructive discussion this week," Martha remarked.

He noted that the 16th round of negotiations is expected to take place by 2023-end in Brussels, Belgium.

"It is expected that Indonesia and the European Union share the same commitment to maintain the positive momentum from the progress achieved in this round," the director noted.

"I also encouraged close communication and inter-session meetings by all working groups if needed," he remarked.

In 2022, the total trade value between Indonesia and the EU had reached US$33.2 billion. While Indonesia's exports to the EU reached US$21.5 billion, Indonesian imports from the EU were valued at US$11.7 billion.

Some of Indonesia's main export commodities to the EU in 2022 are palm oil and its derivatives, coal, and leather footwear. Meanwhile, Indonesia's main imports from the EU were steel and iron pipes, medicine and vaccines, and recycled paper or cardboard, among others.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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