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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   24 October 2013  

RI, EU urged to focus on economic deal

Indonesian and European business leaders have called on the Indonesian government and European Union (EU) to swiftly start negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The call was made during the fourth EU - Indonesia Business Dialogue (EIBD), which took place in Jakarta on Tuesday.

“With the EU being the second largest export market for Indonesia, and the second largest investor, both sides stand to gain from a comprehensive economic partnership agreement,” EU Ambassador designate for Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN Olof Skoog said in an official release.

“Deepening the trade relationship with the EU is a win-win situation, as the EU and Indonesia have complementary economies. Indonesia enjoyed a healthy €5.7 billion trade surplus with the EU last year,” he said.

“Concluding an agreement will increase overall trade by improving market access and just as importantly, it will attract even more European investment to Indonesia, by providing for a transparent and predictable regulatory framework through a CEPA.”

Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) vice chairman Chris Kanter pointed out that - different from other bilateral relationships - Indonesia and the EU shared complementary interests.

“We need European investment and the Europeans need emerging markets. That’s a perfect match.” Kanter said.

The EU and Indonesia have built robust commercial relations, with bilateral trade accounting for approximately €25 billion in 2012.

In addition, the EU is the second largest investor in the Indonesian economy. In past years, an estimated 1000 European companies have invested about €130 billion in the economy and have directly employed 1.1 million Indonesians.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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