The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Indonesia, in collaboration with the South Sumatra Provincial Government, conducted today (15/6) a virtual business roundtable to raise awareness on the on-going Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations between the EU and Indonesia and to discuss trade and investment opportunities with stakeholders in the province.
The South Sumatra Provincial Government has implemented various programmes to accelerate the economic recovery as well as to promote investment in the infrastructure, industrial and agriculture sectors. The EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam H.E. Vincent Piket said, “The European Union supports the efforts of South Sumatra provincial government to increase trade and investment. We have seen the recent return of foreign direct investment to Indonesia, including from the European Union. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and the European Union (EU-Indonesia CEPA) will help to increase trade and investment even more and contribute to job creation and economic recovery in Indonesia."
“For over 30 years, the EU has partnered with Indonesia to increase trade and investment cooperation. In 2019, the EU launched the five-year ARISE+ Indonesia Trade Support Facility with the value of €15 million. The programme gives technical support to the Indonesian government and to companies to improve their export capacity and to meet the rules and standards for international trade,” said EU Ambassador Piket.
This virtual meeting with the EU Delegation was welcomed by the Vice Governor of South Sumatra, Mr H. Mawardi Yahya. "Relations between Indonesia and the EU have always been very friendly and mutually beneficial, as well as cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, investment, agriculture, and other fields."
“South Sumatra has various advantages, including its strategic location on the international trade route, close to the centre of ASEAN economic activity, as well as the centre of government of the Republic of Indonesia. South Sumatra is also rich in natural resources, vast land, beautiful natural scenery, and diverse cultural heritage. We open the widest possible investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector, especially the construction of the Tanjung Carat sea port, toll roads and others,” explained Vice Governor Mawardi Yahya.
The vice governor hoped that this meeting can encourage European investors to invest in South Sumatra. “Besides investing, we also want to expand opportunities to export to Europe. Because of this, we hope that business people can open their horizons on how we can increase the potential for trade exports,” he added.
The event was kicked-off with a presentation by Dandy Rafitrandi, Department of Economics, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) about the recent CSIS study on the potential impact of EU-Indonesia CEPA to boost economic reforms and investment growth in Indonesia. The study was initiated by the Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) and the Ministry of Trade under ARISE+ Indonesia Trade Support Facility and executed by CSIS.
The event also featured a panel discussion that looked at the benefit of CEPA in improving economic relations between EU countries and Indonesia. The panellists included Marika Jakas, Head of Trade and Economic Section of the EU Delegation to Indonesia; Dina Kurniasari, Coordinator of European Affairs, Directorate of Bilateral Negotiations of the Indonesian Trade Ministry; Wahyuni Bahar, Head of Permanent Committee for Multilateral Institutions and Free Trade Agreement of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and Gustaaf Reerink of EuroCham.
The second session discussed how the CEPA would improve investment and trade partnerships, presenting Thierry Beranger, Investment Negotiator of the European Commission; Dra Hj Megaria, MSc, Head of the South Sumatra Investment Board and Endang W. Wierono, SE, MH, CEO of INCOME Realty.
The discussion also highlighted the investment potentials in South Sumatra and expansion plans in industrial areas. Demand in manufacturing, agriculture and other products in the EU is expected to increase in the next few years driven by the post-pandemic recovery. With a large consumer base and high purchasing power, the EU is an attractive option for South Sumatra to expand and diversify its export market.
The EU continues to enhance its relations and cooperation with the Indonesian government. Prior to South Sumatra, the EU had organised CEPA roadshows/ business events with the provincial governments of Maluku, Central Java and West Java. The EU plans to hold several more roadshows, namely in cooperation with the provincial governments of East Kalimantan and Bali.