Indonesia-EFTA free trade deal

Indonesia has on 16 December signed a free trade deal with European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which Norway is a member of.

Photo: EFTA

The agreement will provide access for major export products to Indonesia, from fish and marine products, agricultural and food industry products such as cheese, chocolates and coffee, to industrial and technical products, according to EFTA.

Furthermore, the agreement contains a chapter on trade and sustainable development. It includes provisions on compliance with and implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and on fundamental rights of workers.

In addition, the agreement contains provisions to promote the sustainable management of forest resources, as well as a provision concerning sustainable management of the vegetable oils sector.

Indonesian palm oil will get full market access in Iceland and Norway, with an exception of palm products for animal feed other than for fish.

The free trade deal has been under way for eight years and the discussion about palm oil is pointed out to be the reason why the negotiations dragged on.

Greenpeace has said that more than 74 million hectares of Indonesian rainforest have been logged, burned or degraded in the last 50 years, which the group blamed on palm oil and pulp and paper industries.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said that that palm oil production requires less land than other vegetable oils. He pointed out that it makes it unfair to blame deforestation on palm plantations.

EFTA is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. EFTA’s global network of preferential trade agreements outside the EU consists of 29 agreements with 40 partners.

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