Official negotiations on the European Union – Indonesia comprehensive economic partnership agreement (IE-CEPA) are expected to start within the next weeks. Its completion is anticipated for 2019, Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong announced on April 24, 2016.
During the visit of Indonesia’s President Jokowi “Joko” Widodo to Belgium in April, the initial phase of the IE-CEPA, known as scoping papers, were successfully completed, starting off internal discussions of a technical committee of the EU. With these latest developments, the EU and Indonesia take a step towards formal negotiations on the economic partnership. The internal discussions are likely to be ended within the next weeks. Following thereafter, official negotiations on the IE-CEPA will be started. According to Thomas, they will take another two to two and a half years.
The scoping papers for the economic partnership between the EU and Indonesia entail issues such as trade in goods, customs and trade, technical regulations, trade in services and investment, public procurement, intellectual property rights, competition policy, transparency of regulations, dispute settlements and trade and sustainable development. Closer economic relations would further facilitate bilateral trade and spur additional business opportunities for Indonesian as well as EU companies.