Tempo are reporting that Indonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan has announced that the negotiation on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia will soon begin as the trade potential between the two countries still remains low.
The Minister claimed that he had expressed his intention of strengthening bilateral trade relationships to Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi in Bali prior to the G20 trade, investment, and industry Ministerial meeting (TIIMM).
“For this reason, Indonesia proposes to increase trade and investment relations through the establishment of a comprehensive bilateral economic partnership between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia,” he said in a press release on September 22.
Indonesia has proposed the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) back in 2018 with Saudi Arabia through the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but to date has yet been realized. The GCC also includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.
“Given that Indonesia has signed the CEPA with the United Arab Emirates, which is a member of the GCC, Indonesia proposes to start bilateral negotiations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia,” said Zulhas.
Tempo added that the Minister claimed that in the meeting in Bali, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi shares the same view for the two countries in finding ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation. He asked for intensive meetings up to four times a year, the Minister remarked.