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Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia and Canada has completed the first round of negotiation on the Indonesia-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (ICA-CEPA) in Bandung city, West Java province, with Director General for International Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Trade Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono acting as Indonesia’s chief negotiator.

“The ICA-CEPA are a tangible manifestation of the commitment of the two countries in the hope that the establishment of trade cooperation can provide various benefits, increase trade and investment opportunities for business actors from Indonesia and Canada as a whole,” Djatmiko said in a written statement received here on Wednesday.

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This new round of the negotiation on trade cooperation between the two countries, which was carried out in a hybrid manner on March 14-19, 2022, aims to boost Indonesian export products to the North American market.

In this negotiation, the Canadian delegation was led by Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Trade Policy and Negotiations for Global Affairs Arun Alexander as Canada’s chief negotiator.

The negotiation was held after Indonesian Minister of Trade Muhammad Lutfi along with Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng officially launched the ICA-CEPA negotiation on June 21, 2021.

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Overall, the ICA-CEPA negotiation included discussions which were divided into 17 working groups and three expert level discussions.

The working groups are trade in goods, trade in services, digital trade, legal provisions and institutional issues, trade security, provisions on origin of goods, customs procedures and trade facilities, sanitary and phytosanitary, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures (STRACAP), good regulatory practices, investment, intellectual property, economic and technical cooperation, government procurement, transparency, competition, and dispute resolution.

Meanwhile, the expert level discussions’ topics are inclusive trade, as well as labor and the environment.

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In this first round of negotiation, negotiators from the two countries exchanged views on national policies and understood each country’s position on negotiating issues in general.

“It is targeted that the ICA-CEPA negotiation can be completed by the end of 2023. Therefore, negotiators from the two countries are advised to immediately schedule an intercession meeting before the second round of negotiation and agree on a number of follow-up steps for today’s (first) negotiation,” Djatmiko said.

Currently, Indonesia only has one trade agreement on the American continent, namely with Chile, which is located in the South American region. Therefore, ICA-CEPA is expected to be the entry point for Indonesian export products to other North American countries including the United States and Mexico. Canada has trade agreements with these two countries.

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In addition to market access for goods, the partnership also aims to increase Indonesia’s trade in export of services, invite foreign investment to the country, and promote cooperation in priority sectors, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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