Indonesia-Japan Discuss the Completion of IJEPA General Review

SEBARIN.INFO, Osaka, – Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Indonesian Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto held a bilateral meeting with Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko.

The meeting discussed the completion of the General Review of the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (GR-IJEPA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. This meeting took place on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on 27 June 2019.

"Minister Seko and I have met three times this month. Indonesia and Japan are partners in various shared agendas in the field of trade, including bilateral issues of GR-IJEPA and RCEP," Indonesian Trade Minister said in a press release received in Jakarta on Sunday (30/6).

Minister Enggartiasto emphasized that economically Indonesia may reap benefits from GR-IJEPA and RCEP by making the best out of a more open access of market for goods and services , as well as the investment and cooperations. "By taking its potential into consideration, both parties are working hard to reach a final agreement," he continued.

At this meeting, the two Ministers agreed to work hard to ensure the completion of RCEP multiregional negotiations before the end of 2019. "Minister Seko and I have agreed that the completion of RCEP is signifant and is able to boost trade cooperation amid global trade tensions," said the Trade Minister Enggartiasto.

The bilateral meeting also discussed sectoral issues, such as the implementation of the New Manufacturing Industry Development Center (New MIDEC) cooperation, automotive industry development, and Indonesian policies on Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV).

On this occasion, the two ministers also signed the Framework Document on New MIDEC under the IJEPA framework. The Framework Document on New MIDEC is a program that can support industry 4.0 programs since it covers a comprehensive sectors such as automotive, electronic, textile and food and beverage sectors with cross-sectoral programs which include metalworking, printing and welding, SMEs development, export and import promotion, as well as green industry and industry 4.0.

"Indonesia welcomes the signing of the New MIDEC cooperation framework initiated under the IJEPA. New MIDEC will be a program enhancing sustainable industrial sector cooperation with Japan. This falls in line with the policy of industry 4.0 which is being initiated by the government," Minister Enggartiasto concluded.

In addition to conducting bilateral meetings, Trade Minister Enggartiasto also attended the CEO Roundtable meeting and one-on-one business meeting. The meeting was also attended by Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Industry Minister, and Investment Coordinating Board Head Tom Lembong. This event was also attended by 21 Japanese companies leaders investing in Indonesia.

GR-IJEPA Overview

IJEPA is the first bilateral trade agreement owned by Indonesia. This agreement was signed on 20 August 2007 in Jakarta and came into effect on 1 July 2008. Based on the mandate of article 151 of the IJEPA Agreement, Indonesia and Japan are able to review the implementation and operationalization of the agreement in the fifth year since it was implemented. GR-IJEPA is a momentum to renegotiate the expansion of market access between the two countries, and to increase economic cooperation.

The preliminary meeting of the GR-IJEPA discussion was held in Jakarta on 12 September 2014 and the last (11th) meeting was held on 26—29 March in Tokyo, Japan. In the last meeting, the two countries agreed to announce the completion of the GR-IJEPA by two trade ministers on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in June 2019 in Osaka, Japan.

Reporter: Isma

Translator: Wilda Stiana