UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, left, is received by Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in Jakarta on February 23, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the UK Embassy)

Indonesia Pursues Bilateral FTA with UK during Trevelyan Visit

BY :THE JAKARTA GLOBE

FEBRUARY 23, 2022

Jakarta. The Indonesian government told visiting UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Wednesday that they are expecting to reach a bilateral free trade agreement “sooner than later”.

Trevelyan was in Jakarta for the inaugural Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Muhammad Lutfi.

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The annual ministerial dialogue platform was established in April of last year but the in-person meeting was delayed by the worsening Covid-19 situation.

Lutfi said he and Trevelyan discussed various issues including the state of bilateral trade relations and potential cooperation in the sector of renewable energy, food, beverages, and agriculture.

“The Secretary of Trade and I also have the opportunity to exchange views on the long-term vision of Indonesia-UK economic relations, including the possibility of exploring a bilateral FTA for the future,” Lutfi said in a joint news conference.

“And I hope this will come into realization sooner than later considering the potential benefit that the FTA would bring for both countries,” he added.

Both countries have agreed to establish two separate working groups – one on renewable energy and clean growth and another on food, beverages, and agriculture.

“We expect these working groups to identify concrete cooperation between the two countries,” Lutfi said.

Trevelyan didn’t specifically mention the FTA but said the UK government is committed to bringing the bilateral trade and investment to a new level and “making it even greater”.

“The UK and Indonesia already have a £2.6 billion trading relationship – that is almost Rp 60 trillion. We estimate British businesses employ 1 million people in Indonesia,” she said. 

“On future ambition, we agreed to look at ways to enhance our trade relationship.”

Trevelyan said Indonesia has the potential to become a “clean energy superpower” and UK companies are helping to bring innovative technology in areas like tidal energy.

“For food and drink and agricultural commodities I look forward to the progress that allows new products from both our countries to find space in the others’ shops and supermarket shelves,” Trevelyan said.

“I have no doubt that Indonesian food and drink can be very popular in the UK,” she added.

Trevelyan also told Lutfi that UK Export Finance has £4 billion “available and ready” to be used for purchases by Indonesian buyers from the UK.

Also on Thursday, Trevelyan held separate meetings with Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

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