Thu, 05 May 2011

From: The Jakarta Post

By Esther Samboh
The European Union’s (EU) 27 member states will inject €30 million (US$44.66 million) into Indonesia to strengthen the trade and investment climate, according to the countries’ joint press statement.

“[The €30 million support] includes a program to support Indonesian business organizations (ACTIVE), the Trade Support Program (TSP) II to support the Indonesian government in the field of export quality infrastructure and the Trade Cooperation Facility (TCF), a flexible mechanism to support attracting investments to Indonesia,” said an official statement issued following EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht’s visit to Indonesia.

The EU member states provided over €66 million in 2009.

Negotiations between Indonesia and the EU would facilitate the export of wood and paper products from Indonesia to European companies, De Gucht said at a news conference at the Kempinski Hotel in Jakarta.

Indonesia is Europe’s largest investment destination and second largest market. The EU invested a total $2.78 billion in Indonesia -- excluding the oil and gas, banking and financial sectors – for a total of 521 projects, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) data shows.

In his first visit to Indonesia, De Gucht met with Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues, including and several issues of market access

The high-level gathering assessed the EU-Indonesia Vision Group’s recommendations to boost commercial relations between the countries. Established in 2009, the vision group was formed to invigorate the relationship between Indonesia and the EU by strengthening economic growth and the alleviation of unemployment and poverty through investment and trade in key sectors.

“One important step recommended by the Vision Group after the completion of its report is to have early consultation with stakeholders to generate widely shared interests and support from businesspeople, government officials and civil society in both countries on the idea of Indonesia-EU comprehensive economic partnership agreement,” the joint statement said.