Indonesia and European Union (EU) held the 9th meeting of the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI) in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the latest issues in the fields of trade and investment.
"At the WGTI meeting, we discussed a wide range of technical issues related to the implementation of policies that need special attention from both sides to encourage smooth business and investment," Director General of Trade Negotiations at the Trade Ministry Imam Pambagyo noted in a written statement released on Thursday.
Although not all the issues could be resolved, the two sides were at least able to exchange information to find a common solution, he affirmed.
Pambagyo, who led the Indonesian delegation to the meeting, expressed hope that the forum would support the ongoing negotiations on the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA). One of the issues that Indonesia raised at the meeting was its palm oil`s access to the EU market, he remarked.
The EU parliament`s decision to stop the contribution of palm oil-based biofuel in the update of the renewable energy directive (RED Recast) has raised serious concern among and sparked strong reaction from stakeholders in Indonesia. On the occasion, the Indonesian delegation also raised the issue of sanitation and phytosanitary standards that the EU had imposed on various import commodities, such as tea and cocoa. Indonesia and the EU also discussed a proposed policy on the mechanism of selecting investment in EU member states.
Meanwhile, the EU raised several issues related to trade and investment policies in Indonesia, such as domestic regulation related to permits to import horticulture and husbandry products, the negative list of investment, and the Indonesian National Standard (SNI).
Trade between Indonesia and the EU reached US$28.9 billion. Over the past five years, Indonesia enjoyed a surplus in its trade with EU. Meanwhile, EU's investment reached $3.2 billion. (ant)