Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, met with British Minister for Energy and Net Zero Security, Graham Stuart, to bolster collaboration between producer countries and consumers of plantation commodities through the FACT Dialogue.

The meeting addressed issues related to trade in agricultural commodities between Indonesia and the United Kingdom (UK), small farmers and certification, trade commitments in the agricultural sector, and climate change matters, including updates from the Forest Agriculture, Commodities, and Trade (FACT) Dialogue.

"It is important for the UK to understand and fully acknowledge national sustainability standards to create conditions for improved market access for sustainably produced products in the UK," noted Hartarto in a statement on Tuesday.

He also emphasized Indonesia's various commitments in trading agricultural commodities and addressing climate change, including the country's efforts towards sustainable plantation policies in response to the European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) policy recently issued by the European Union.

The cooperation between the two countries in legally and sustainably managing timber and wood products is demonstrated by the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade - Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT - VPA), which has been in effect since December 2018.

The meeting also discussed the next steps in the co-chairship of Indonesia and the UK within the FACT Dialogue, particularly the continuation of efforts to reduce global emissions, noted Hartarto.

The thematic areas discussed at the FACT Dialogue include transparency and traceability, smallholder support, trade and market development, and research, development, and innovation.

On the same occasion, Minister Stuart stated that Indonesia's co-chairship of this dialogue forum would conclude at the end of 2023, followed by preparations for the FACT Dialogue by both countries after Indonesia's leadership term.

"The British government acknowledges Indonesia's collaboration in recent years as the Co-chair of the FACT Dialogue and expects that this non-negotiation dialogue forum can continue as a platform for discussing sustainability aspects for producer and consumer countries of plantation and forestry commodities," he said.

The two ministers also discussed cooperation for low-carbon energy transitions to accelerate the 2060 Net Zero Emissions (NZE) goal, including the advancement of new and renewable energy. Indonesia and the UK already have a cooperative mechanism called "Towards Indonesia's Low Carbon Energy Transition" (MENTARI), which was recently extended until 2027.

The total value of bilateral trade between the two countries reached US$2.7 billion in 2022, marking a 4.9 percent increase from the total trade in 2021. Trade in agricultural commodities between Indonesia and the UK during the period from 2021 to 2022 also showed a positive trend, with a growth of 10.59 percent.

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Translator: Bayu Saputra, Resinta S
Editor: Anton Santoso
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