Jakarta: Indonesian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs A.M Fachir has urged EFTA business communities and Indonesian business players to increase their interactions.
The message was delivered during the opening ceremony of the Indonesia-EFTA Business Forum in the capital city of Jakarta on Monday.
The forum facilitated the meeting between 45 entrepreneurs from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, including Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland, and 75 Indonesian entrepreneurs.
The forum was held in the form of discussions and invited a number of speakers from the Indonesian government, Indonesian private sectors, and EFTA countries.
The first session presented the keynote speakers from the government institutions, including Indonesian Ministry of Trade's Bilateral Negotiations Director Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Indonesian Negotiator Team Leader at the EFTA CEPA Ambassador Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat, Switzerland Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bilateral Economic Department Chair Erwin Bollinger, and Norwegian Ambassador for Indonesia Vegard Kaale.
The second session focused more on perspective of the business communities, presenting several keynote speakers from the business sector, including Indonesian Ambassador for Switzerland Muliaman Hadad, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Deputy Chairperson Shinta W. Kamdani, Head of Innovation Norway in Jakarta Fredrik Bjerke Abdelmaguid, Switzerland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Secretary Marc Engelhard, and representatives from Indonesian exporters that have managed to penetrate the EFTA market, Anton Santoso from STI Precision.
At the occasion, Fachir also encouraged EFTA countries to continue their investment in Indonesia due to the increasingly stable political condition and exhaustive infrastructure development. In addition, the Indonesian diplomat also mentioned Indonesia's increasing trade volume to the EFTA countries. Therefore, the Business Forum is expected to create a momentum to promote the balanced trade development between the two parties.
"Indonesia-EFTA Business Forum is organized by Indonesian MoFA's Directorate of European Affairs II, in collaboration with Indonesian Ministry of Trade, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), and Switzerland Ministry of Economic Affairs," The Indonesian MoFA said in a press statement released on Monday.
On 16 December 2018, Indonesia has officially signed a trade agreement with EFTA (IE-CEPA). IE-CEPA is expected to provide opportunities for Indonesia's main commodities such as palm oil, fish, gold, coffee, footwear, toys, textiles, electrical equipment, and tires to compete in the EFTA market. For Indonesia, EFTA countries are potential source of investment, especially in sectors like hi-techs, health, banking, and telecommunications.