"EAEU is a region which has a strong economy and large market potential in north Eurasia, and Indonesia sees EAEU as an important trade partner," Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said in a written statement released in Jakarta on Monday.
Hasan and a member of the EAEU Trade Ministry Council, Andrey Slepnev, officially launched the trade agreement negotiation online.
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The trade agreement is part of Indonesia's efforts to expand exports to non-traditional markets, especially to Eurasian countries, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
The trade agreement was launched with the signing of a “Joint Ministerial Statement on the Launching of Negotiations for the I-EAEU Free Trade Agreement.”
Hasan said the launch of the trade agreement negotiations served as a historical momentum for the two sides to take bilateral relations to a higher level.
The effort is a part of strategies to expand proactively to more markets by tapping opportunities in non-traditional trade partner counties, he added.
The trade agreement covers trade in goods and economic cooperation regulations for facilitating trade, he informed.
"The agreement must play a role as the engine of growth and productivity in addition to creating jobs and promoting welfare," he said.
As per a feasibility analysis conducted by both sides in 2021, trade between Indonesia and EAEU is complementary in nature. The agreement is projected to promote welfare, boost economic growth, and increase Indonesia's exports to EAEU.
Meanwhile, Slepnev said Indonesia is EAEU's strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Given the many changes faced by countries in the world as a result of technological transformation, it is important to build a strong framework of cooperation to help business players for the sake of people's welfare in EAEU and Indonesia," he added.
EAEU has a population of around 183 million and a per capita income of US$11,249.
Trade between the two sides was recorded at US$3.3 billion in 2021, with Indonesia's exports to EAEU reaching US$1.5 billion and its imports from the region touching US$1.8 billion.