Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Trade Ministry is convinced that the country's foreign trade performance will surpass that of Vietnam after the completion of the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA).

"Our market access to the European Union, once the agreement has been completed and implemented, will obtain a greater benefit than what Vietnam gets," said Kasan, the ministry's Trade Policy Agency chief, on Wednesday.

He said Indonesia was left behind by Vietnam, which already has a trade agreement with the European Union, giving them an advantage in exporting to the European market.

Indonesia's trade volume to the European Union in 2022 reached only US$46 billion, as compared with Vietnam, whose trade value in the same year was recorded at US$94 billion after the implementation of CEPA, he noted.

Kasan expressed his belief that Indonesia will complete its IEU-CEPA this year, thereby enabling it to catch up with its trade to Europe with Vietnam.

He underscored the importance of IEU-CEPA in opening more access for Indonesian exports since once Indonesia can export its commodities to the EU, accessing other markets becomes easier.

"Indonesia, whose economy is greater than Vietnam, has considered and calculated that regarding our market access to the European Union, we will obtain greater benefit than what Vietnam has," Kasan remarked.

The IEU-CEPA negotiation has entered its 17th round. In the current round, both sides deliberated 12 aspects of bilateral trade that included goods and services trade, investment, and cooperation in a sustainable food system, sustainable trade, and development.

Provisions on goods origins, energy and raw materials, trade technical obstacles, subsidies, intellectual property, institutional conditions, provisions on the institutional aspect, and anti-fraud clauses are also being discussed in the 17th round.

Among the 12 deliberated aspects, a consensus has been reached on cooperation for a sustainable food system, overcoming trade obstacles, and handling institutional conditions.

The negotiation will continue this year and is expected to conclude by the end of 2024.

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Translator: Maria Cicilia, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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