Indonesia hopes to double exports to EFTA countries

London. (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said that he hopes to see trade between Indonesia and members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland - would double in value next year.

Enggartiasto met with Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann in Zurich in a dinner discussing progress in Indonesia-EFTA Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA) negotiations, an official of the Indonesian embassy here Ceko Dwi Wisnu Budi Prabowo said here on Saturday.

Schneider-Ammann said his country wants to wrap up the negotiation which has reached 15 sessions.

The Indonesian minister, who was accompanies by Indonesian Ambassador to Switzerland Muliaman D Hadad, said Indonesia shares the same interest in concluding the negotiations.

Indonesia is Swiss largest trading partner among the EFTA countries. Trade between the two countries was valued at US$2 billion with Indonesian export valued at US$1.2 billion a year.

After the meeting the Indonesian Trade Minister said in a news conference that he was confident trade between Indonesia and EFTA members would rise next year.

"Trade between Indonesia and EFTA would double after the signing of the IE-CEPA agreement," he said.

Indonesian Ambassador for Switzerland and Liechtenstein Muliaman Hadad said he was confident that IE-CEPA would be the driving engine for Indonesias exports to Swtzerland and Liechtenstein.

Currently , through the program of Swiss Import Promotion Program (SIPPO), Switzerland helps to expand Indonesian exports to Switzerland and Europe especially for timber, marine products and spices.

Both sides agreed to resume talks on pending issues by the end of October in Bali. The IE-CEPA agreement is expected to be signed in Nopember this year. *

Source: ANTARA News

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