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Negotiation started in Maputo on May 31 and June 1 at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Photo: Direktorat Perundingan Bilateral Facebook
Indonesia and Mozambique has started their first-ever negotiations for a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) following a joint commitment reached during the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) in April this year.
Indonesia`s bilateral trade negotiation director in the Trade Ministry, Ni Made Ayu Marhini, said the first round took place in Maputo on May 31 and June 1. Most articles had been agreed on by the two countries.
“Our counterparts in Mozambique had welcomed our proposals on the agreement. As a result, the two parties have completed most articles of the PTA`s draft,” she said in a statement on Tuesday. The Mozambique delegation was led by the national external trade director, Amilcar Arone.
Marhini, who led the Indonesian delegation, said that when the negotiations were completed by the year-end, Indonesia would have its first PTA with an African nation. “After the IAF in Bali, we (the two countries) are committed to establish the PTA,” she added.
Besides, the President, Joko Widodo, had instructed the Trade Ministry to expand business to non-traditional markets to increase exports.
The PTA, Marhini said, was aimed at easing tariffs on products of both countries. Mozambique, she noted, was a potential hub in Africa for Indonesia`s exports. Marhini said there was potential for more collaboration between the two countries, including in raw materials.
The total trade of Indonesia and Mozambique in the 2013-2017 period declined by 23.75 per cent. Indonesia`s trade balance with Mozambique remains positive.
The total trade between the two countries increased by 82.2 per cent from US$ 44.5 million in 2016 to US$ 54.1 million in 2017.
Indonesian products that can be exported to Mozambique include soap, palm oil, cement, margarine and paper. Indonesia can import nuts, ferro-alloys, raw tobacco and cotton from Mozambique.Source: Antara News