Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan is targeting to complete the Indonesia-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (ICA-CEPA) by the end of this year.

"Hopefully, it can be completed by the end of this year," the minister said here on Wednesday.

ICA-CEPA trade diplomacy is considered important to support exports carried out by national business actors and industries, such as the steel industry.

"Therefore, these diplomacies are important so that your business can penetrate. The government supports the sector that has contributed greatly to the export surplus to grow bigger, more advanced, and stronger," the minister said.

Meanwhile, ICA-CEPA, he highlighted, is Indonesia's first trade agreement with the North American region that can open market access and supply chains in the region, as well as increase the competitiveness of Indonesian products in the Canadian market.

Indonesia has committed to accelerate ICA-CEPA negotiations and agreed to complete them by the end of 2024. The completion of the negotiations could increase Indonesia-Canada trade and investment, he continued.

In the eighth round of negotiations on ICA-CEPA in Ottawa, Canada, Indonesia and Canada discussed 20 issues and held an expert discussion on the issue of state-owned enterprises.

Director General of International Trade Negotiations at the Trade Ministry Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono said that Indonesia encouraged the heads of the negotiation issues to intensify communication and be pragmatic so that all issues could be resolved.

A discussion on the establishment of the Critical Minerals Dialogue was also held for the first time.

The discussion marked a concrete manifestation of strategic cooperation between Indonesia and Canada as influential critical mineral-producing countries in the world.

The ministry noted that total trade between Indonesia and Canada in January–April 2024 reached US$1.1 billion.

During that period, Indonesia's exports to Canada were recorded at US$466 million, while its imports from Canada stood at US$655 million.

Indonesia's main export commodities to Canada in 2023 were telephone equipment, production waste, natural rubber, accessories, and luggage. Meanwhile, Indonesia's main import commodities from Canada were wheat, fertilizer, soybeans, and sawdust.

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Translator: Aji Cakti, Katriana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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