EU and Indonesia start the New Year with a comprehensive second round of FTA negotiations
EU and Indonesian negotiators will meet from 24 to 28 January 2017 for a full round of negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA).
After an initial two-day round in September last year, this second round will see negotiators enter into detailed discussions addressing all chapters of the future agreement.
The EU aims to introduce specific text proposals covering a majority of the FTA chapters. A report of this second round, as well as initial EU text proposals, will be published shortly afterwards.
Immediately after the FTA talks, both sides will also hold their annual Working Group on Trade and Investment, which is a forum to address general trade matters as well as specific trade barriers that companies from both sides face in each other's markets.
The FTA round, which will take place in Bali, will be preceded on Friday 20 January by a dedicated workshop on investment protection policy and the EU proposal for an Investment Court System, to be held in Jakarta.
Negotiations for an EU-Indonesia free trade agreement were launched on 18 July 2016. The ambition is to conclude a free trade agreement that facilitates trade and investments and covers a broad range of issues, including customs duties, regulatory barriers to trade, trade in services and investment, trade aspects of public procurement, competition rules, intellectual property rights, as well as sustainable development.
Indonesia is the largest economy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has the largest population (250 million inhabitants) and represents about 36% of the region's GDP.
Trade in goods between the EU and Indonesia amounted to over €25 billion in 2015, with EU exports worth almost €10 billion and EU imports from Indonesia worth more than €15 billion, resulting in over €5 billion trade surplus for Indonesia.
The EU is Indonesia's fourth largest trading partner. Indonesia's key exports to the EU include agricultural products, which amounted to €4.3 billion in 2015. Other products exported by Indonesia are machinery and appliances, textiles and footwear, plastic and rubber products.
For the EU, Indonesia is the fifth largest trading partner in South-East Asia but ranks only 30th in the general EU trade ranking. The EU exports to Indonesia mostly industrial products, including machinery and appliances, transport equipment and chemical products.
Total bilateral trade in services between the EU and Indonesia amounted to €6 billion in 2014, with a surplus of over €2 billion for the EU. The EU's foreign direct investment stock in the country amounts to nearly €26 billion, and is only second to Singapore.
Since identifying ASEAN as a priority region in the 2006 Global Europe Communication, the EU has been actively engaged with the region. Negotiations for a region-to-region FTA with ASEAN were launched in 2007 and paused in 2009 to give way to negotiations in a bilateral format. These bilateral FTAs were conceived as building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement. Bilateral negotiations were launched with Singapore and Malaysia in 2010, with Vietnam in 2012, with Thailand in 2013, with the Philippines in 2015 and with Indonesia in 2016. The talks with Singapore and Vietnam were successfully concluded in 2014 and 2015 respectively.