Ankara, Jakarta to hold talks on new trade pact

Published 13.10.2017 20:27

To strengthen economic ties, Indonesia and Turkey have agreed to kick off negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in November.

The agreement came Thursday following a meeting between Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık and the Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita.

Earlier in July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo agreed to continue the positive trend in bilateral trade and investment at a meeting in Ankara.

After his meeting with Işık, the Indonesian Trade Minister said: "We want to speed up talks in accordance with President Joko Widodo's commitment made during his visit to Turkey in July."

He told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the framework for cooperation was eight years behind schedule.

"In the early stages of the negotiations, we wanted to form a PTA [Preferential Trade Agreement]. Turkey government had also agreed to it," he said.

"But implementing an FTA require long negotiations. So, we can start with the CEPA first," Lukita Said.

Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık said the two countries were focused on diversifying commercial ties.

"A roadmap agreed on by the leaders of both countries, has been drawn up to achieve a $10-billion trade target by 2023," Işık said.

Both countries have affirmed their commitment towards improving the trade volume, which stood at $1.7 billion last year, down by 9 percent from a year earlier.

"The CEPA agreement will be one of the important instruments to improve bilateral trade and economic relations," he said.

Işık, who is currently visiting Indonesia, urged Lukita to cooperate in halal standardizations. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector.

Last month, Indonesia and Turkey signed a defense and aerospace cooperation agreement to build submarines, tanks, and unmanned aircraft.

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