June 7, 2007
Japan targets Indonesia trade pact during Abe visit
Japan hopes to sign a free trade pact with Indonesia when Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe visits Jakarta in August, the Japanese embassy said June 7.
But the deal still needs Indonesia to come up with a foreign investment
list in line with its newly passed investment law, said Satoru Satoh,
deputy chief of mission at
the Japanese embassy.
"We are now in the final stage of the negotiation. We hope it can be
finalised as soon as possible so that it can be signed when Prime Minister
Abe visits Indonesia," he was quoted by Reuters as telling a news
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which includes elements of free
trade, will eventually end import taxes on more than 90% of the trade
between the two countries, Japanese trade officials have said.
Satoh said Abe would also discuss ways to tackle issues such as terrorism
and climate change during his visit. No exact date has been set for the
trip, Satoh said.
The EPA aims to end tariffs on about 93% of the goods Japan imports from
Indonesia, such as industrial products, fruit and shrimps, within seven
years after it is signed, Japanese officials have said.
Japan imported goods from Indonesia worth about 2.3 trillion yen ($19
billion) in 2005. It is Indonesia's biggest customer for exports and ranks
second among Indonesia's sources for imports, according to U.S. Central
Intelligence Agency data.
About 90% of the goods Indonesia imports from Japan, such as electronics
products, cars, machinery and certain kinds of steel products, will become
duty-free. Indonesia imported about $8.65 billion of goods from Japan in
2005, Japanese government data showed. ANTARA