Asean-EU Expected to Overcome Campaign Black Palm

By : Hariyanto And Aldo Bella Putra | Monday, March 05 2018 - 21:00 IWST

Menteri Perdagangan Enggartiasto Lukita
Menteri Perdagangan Enggartiasto Lukita - Jakarta - The government declares that free trade agreement or Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and EU can overcome negative campaign of palm oil and contribute to develop UMKM.

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said this while leading the Indonesian Delegation to the 16th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM-EU) Trade Commissioner (16th AEM-EU) Trade Commissioner in Singapore, a written statement was received, in Jakarta, Sunday (4/3/2018).

Both sectors are important for Indonesia as the driving force of the national economy, the minister said.

"The FTA Agreement between ASEAN and the EU should contain programs that can advance the MSME sector the points of the FTA Agreement should also help counter the negative campaign of the palm oil sector," Enggartiasto said. The subject of the meeting was to strengthen the framework between the two regions. The consultations were also discussed on the implementation of the negotiations between ASEAN and EU parties.

"The implementation plan of the ASEAN-EU FTA negotiations still requires a proper and rigorous negotiation framework considering the differences in readiness and ambition of these two regions," said Enggartiasto.

ASEAN and EU cooperation is growing. This is evident from the increase in the value of trade and investment between the two areas that grow consistent. Based on statistical data from the EU, the value of ASEAN-EU trade reached 226.6 billion Euros in 2017, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier.

The EU is also the largest source of ASEAN Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2016 with a value of 26.3 billion Euros.

Prior to the ASEAN and EU Consultations Meeting, Enggartiasto first held a bilateral meeting with the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrm.

Both of them appreciated the agreed progress at the 4th round of the 4th Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) on 19-23 February 2018 in Surakarta, and specifically the EU promised to pay attention to the problem of Indonesian palm oil.

Indonesia also stressed the need for a common understanding between the two sides on new issues such as Trade and Sustainable Development. In addition, Enggartiasto underscores the importance of fair and equitable trade.

Both sides also agreed to support the ASEAN-EU FTA plan, and each party is expected to be flexible to narrow the gap.

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