Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo wants the trade deal between Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be ratified by the end of 2023, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi.
Indonesia and the UAE last year inked a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). But the deal is still waiting for ratification in the Southeast Asian country.
Jokowi brought up the subject of the IUAE-CEPA ratification during UAE Ambassador to Indonesia Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri's visit to the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"President Jokowi talked about the bolstering of the bilateral economic ties, on finalizing the IUAE-CEPA ratification, which is still ongoing to this day. The president hopes that all processes can be completed by the end of this year," Retno said in a recorded press statement.
"Mr. President also spoke with the ambassador on UAE's investment projects in Indonesia, including in the port sector, which we hope to finish soon," Retno said.
According to the Trade Ministry, the UAE already ratified the trade deal in Dec. 2022. As of March 2023, the Indonesian government has entered the final stage of composing a presidential regulation on the IUAE-CEPA.
Under the IUAE-CEPA, the UAE will gradually reduce or eliminate 94 percent of its tariff posts after the agreement enters into force.
Trade Ministry data shows Indonesia-UAE trade reached $5.1 billion in 2022, up by 25.35 percent from a year earlier. Indonesia's leading exports to the UAE include jewelry, palm oil, and motor vehicles, among others. Indonesia mainly imports natural gas, oil, and gold from the UAE.
In Dec. 2022, Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi met with the top brass of Dubai-based logistics firm DP World.
DP World and the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) have established a partnership with state-owned port operator Pelindo to manage the Belawan New Container Terminal (BNCT) in North Sumatra. DP World has also inked a partnership with Maspion Group on container port and logistics industry development in Gresik, East Java.