Norway expects the negotiations on the proposed free trade agreement between Indonesia and Norway and its three neighbors under the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to be accelerated to enable it to further boost bilateral trade with Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Jakarta Post reports.
Norwegian Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Kristin Maurstad said in Jakarta on Friday that he wanted the partnership agreement to be concluded soon so that Norway could benefit from the myriad opportunities in Indonesia.
“Business ties between our two countries are growing and there is much potential for increasing trade. This partnership will encourage us and promote further growth in trade on both sides,” Maurstad said at the Norway Asia Business Summit in Jakarta.
The negotiated comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) would serve as a basic step toward lowering trade barriers, particularly in terms of import duties, that would help generate expansion in trade as well as facilitate investment.
Indonesia and EFTA are scheduled to conduct the seventh round of negotiations on the CEPA next month.
Mutual trade has grown markedly by 92 percent over the past decade, according to Norwegian statistics. At present, around 20 Norwegian firms invest in Indonesia, primarily in energy and maritime sectors.