JAKARTA, June 11 (Reuters) - Indonesia aims to double trade with Chile under their comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) which will come into operation in mid-August, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has been under pressure to boost exports as its trade gap widens. Indonesia posted its largest monthly trade deficit in April.
In 2018, Indonesia and Chile traded $274 million worth of goods, which Lukita said did not reflect the “potential of both countries”. They signed CEPA in December 2017 and it will take effect on Aug. 10.
“We’re trying to get at least double,” Lukita says. “Give us time, lets say two to three years, I believe we can double (the trade),” he told media briefing in Jakarta.
Chilean Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yanez Benitez said CEPA will give Indonesia the chance to catch up with Vietnam, whose trade with Chile has reached $1 billion a year.
Indonesia will gradually eliminate tariffs on 9,308 Chilean products including copper, olive oil and dairy products. While Chile will gradually scrap tariffs on 7,669 Indonesian products including palm oil, automotive and footwear.
The agreement will also open opportunities for Indonesia to expand trade to Latin America and for Chile to Southeast Asia. (Reporting by Bernadette Chrisitna Munthe Editing by Fransiska Nangoy and Nick Macfie)