EU and Indonesia advance towards free trade negotiations
On April 7, 2016, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström held a meeting with Mr. Thomas T. Lembong, the Minister of Trade of Indonesia, with the aim of defining the scope of a potential bilateral free trade agreement that the two partners are getting ready to negotiate
Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, said: “I’m very happy with the progress that we have been able to make so far towards a free trade deal with Indonesia. These constructive discussions have confirmed that Indonesia is making free trade with the EU a priority. Some work still remains to be done, and we are making progress in our efforts to solve outstanding issues.”
The 2015 EU trade policy strategy “Trade for all” identified Indonesia as one of the priority partners for opening of free trade talks. Indonesia offers a large market with much untapped potential. It is the largest economy in South-East Asia, representing 40% of GDP and population of the Association of South-Asian Nations (ASEAN) but it ranks only at fourth place inside the region when it comes to trade with the EU.
- Indonesia is the largest economy in the Association of South-Asian Nations (ASEAN) representing 40% of its GDP and population (244 million inhabitants). However, it ranks only at the fourth position inside the region as EU’s trading partner (and 29th overall), with a bilateral merchandise trade just reaching EUR 23.5 billion in 2011.
- Total trade in commercial services between EU and Indonesia in 2011 amounted to EUR 3.7 billion and represented more than 14 % of the total trade.