Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan urged the United Kingdom (UK) to not implement policies that could hinder Indonesia's exports like the European Union does with its deforestation-free regulation (EUDR).

"We discussed the UK's environmental policies while bearing in mind the EUDR. Hopefully, the UK will not implement policies that could harm our agricultural products," Hasan remarked after holding a bilateral meeting with British Minister of State for International Trade Nigel Huddleston on Sunday.

Both ministers held the meeting on the sidelines of the 55th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting hosted by Indonesia as the 2023 ASEAN chair in Semarang, Central Java, on Sunday.

In addition to environmental policies, Hasan revealed that he and Minister Huddleston made the most of their meeting to discuss about the upgrade of the two countries' Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

"We encouraged the optimization of JETCO by upgrading it into a CEPA to explore comprehensive partnership negotiations," he remarked.

According to Hasan, the British minister echoed his country's support for the Indonesian government's efforts to develop the digital economy that included the digitalization movement for micro, small, and medium enterprises.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Trade Jerry Sambuaga noted that during his visit to London earlier in July, the Indonesian government had made the request to the UK, appealing to it to not implement restrictive policies.

He affirmed that Indonesia had sent a clear and firm message regarding the importance of formulating and implementing balanced, egalitarian, and fair policies.

During his visit, he directly told Minister Huddleston that Jakarta is not in favor of restrictive policies like those devised by the European Union.

"In London, I blatantly said that the EU (European Union) should not have implemented policies that are discriminative in nature," he pointed out.

Minister Huddleston warmly welcomed Indonesia's request, he stated.

Sambuaga then expressed optimism that Huddleston's response was an indication that both countries share a similar outlook on the values of equality and balance.

The total value of the trade between Indonesia and the UK was recorded at US$1.42 billion during the January-June 2023 period, with Indonesia's exports to the UK reaching US$837.4 million and imports recorded at US$590.5 million.

Hence, Indonesia enjoyed a trade surplus of US$246.8 million with the UK during the period.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
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