November 24, 2018 / 11:48 AM / 18 days ago

Indonesia to sign free trade deal with EFTA countries in December

FILE PHOTO: Indonesia's Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita attends the APEC Ministers Responsible For Trade meeting in Hanoi May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has wrapped up negotiations for a free trade and investment pact with members of the four-nation European Free Trade Association, and a final agreement is due to be signed in December, Indonesia’s trade minister said.

Negotiations on the Comprehensive Indonesia-European Free Trade Association Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA) between Indonesia and EFTA members - Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland - have taken seven years.

“This settlement is a milestone for Indonesia’s relations with the four EFTA countries,” trade minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in a statement released after Friday’s signing in Geneva.

Indonesia will get better access to export products such as coffee, palm oil, fisheries, textile and furniture, the statement said.

Members of the EFTA will gain access to investment in Indonesia, including in the energy and mining sectors.

The next step is for “legal scrubbing” and translation so the agreement is ready to be signed in Jakarta in December, the statement said.

In 2017, Indonesia-EFTA trade was worth $2.4 billion, with Indonesia having a trade surplus of $212 million.

Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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