Jakarta: Indonesia and Bangladesh have outlined a target to conclude a preferential trade agreement (PTA) in the second half of 2020.
"We have targeted to complete and sign the IB-PTA in mid-2020," Director of Bilateral Negotiations of the Trade Ministry Ni Made Ayu Marthini remarked after attending a business meeting held at the Bangladeshi Embassy in Jakarta on Thursday, January 23, 2020.
As negotiator on behalf of the Indonesian government, Marthini expounded that both nations will hold the third round of negotiations in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in February 2020.
According to her, at the meeting, the Indonesian delegation plans to conclude all negotiations until the two countries reach an agreement.
"One of the agendas we will discuss is tariff reduction since this is the PTA. Hence, the number of products will not be high. It will run into hundreds, or some 300 to 400 products (from Indonesia that will be exempt from import duties)," she explained.
Under the trade agreement, the Indonesian government will select export products that will be subject to high tariffs from Bangladesh. However, she desisted from elaborating on the products since they are yet under negotiation. At the business meeting, Marthini drew attention to some of the potential products including forestry, fishery, and agricultural items, as well as processed energy and mineral and industrial products.
Both nations began negotiations on the PTA in 2017. They agreed to negotiate it a year later. The first round of negotiation was held in Dhaka on February 27, 2019, while the second round of negotiation took place in Bali on January 22-23, 2020. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded trade between both nations to have reached US$1.97 billion in 2018. (Antara)