Indonesia, EFTA Sign Free Trade Agreement

Indonesia, EFTA Sign Free Trade Agreement

Asean member Indonesia and the European Free Trade Association
(EFTA)—the intergovernmental organisation of Iceland, Liechtenstein,
Norway, and Switzerland— signed on 16 December a Comprehensive
Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to boost economic ties and
promote trade and investment between the two sides.

A few weeks before the signing of the agreement, Indonesia and EFTA
concluded the negotiations that had been going on since July 2010. The
CEPA covers all areas normally included in EFTA’s comprehensive free
trade agreements, such as trade in goods and services, investment,
intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade
and sustainable development, cooperation and capacity building, as well
as legal and horizontal provisions.

The EFTA-Indonesia agreement will provide access for major export
products to Indonesia, including fish and marine products, agricultural and
food industry products such as cheese, chocolates and coffee, industrial
and technical products, machinery and watches, chemicals and
pharmaceuticals. The deal will also boost trade in services, such as
energy-related services, telecommunication services, and financial
services.

The agreement also includes provisions for sustainable development,
including sustainable management of forest resources and of the
vegetable oil sector.

“Companies from all four EFTA States are already active on the Indonesian
market, which has been steadily growing over the past years. Indonesia is
also a leading member of ASEAN and, by some forecasts, will become the
fourth-largest economy in the world by 2050,” said Johann N. Schneider-
Ammann, Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of
Economic Affairs, Education and Research of the Swiss Confederation.

“We are convinced that the strengthening of our economic ties through
the CEPA will allow us to steadily make even better use of the potential by
creating additional opportunities for both Indonesia and the EFTA States,”
Schneider-Ammann added.

Trade in goods between the four EFTA nations and Indonesia stood at
US$2.3 billion in 2017. EFTA states exported goods worth US$597 million,
while EFTA’s imports from Indonesia reached US$1.7 billion, gold being
the most significant import, followed by footwear and electrical machinery.