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Indonesia signed a joint statement on the launch of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) respectively with Papua New Guinea and Fiji during the South Pacific Forum (ISPF) held in Jakarta on Thursday.
“One of the results of the ISPF is that Indonesia agreed to starting PTA discussions with South Pacific countries, specifically the start of the PTA negotiation process with Papua New Guinea.
We have also agreed to the wish to launch the PTA with Fiji,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi stated in her opening address to the ISPF.
The agreement was expected to drive up trade volume and ease barriers in trade and investment, Minister Retno said.
The minister said that Indonesia and countries in South Pacific region face common challenges particularly in creating balance between pursuing higher economic growth and preserving environment.
“I reaffirm Indonesia's commitment to cooperate with countries in South Pacific in addressing problems and maximising common potentials for the prosperity of our people,” she said.
The ISPF also offered the necessary momentum for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Indonesia Export Financing Institute (LPEI) and PT Audie Building Industry to lay a platform for the establishment of cooperation to support projects in South Pacific countries.
PT Audie Building Industry is an Indonesian construction firm having several projects in the South Pacific region, including the Yadua Bay Resort and Tree Top Villa Resort in Fiji, with a total value of AUD$5.6 million (US$3.9 million) and the Bairiki Football Stadium in Kiribati, with a total value of US$12.3 million
During the course of the ISPF, the forum also agreed on the 6th maritime border delimitation meeting between Indonesia and Palau in Manila, the Philippines, on March 20-21 and the Indonesian government's commitment to holding protocol training and meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) for Tuvalu that will host the Our Ocean Conference 2020.
The minister voiced Indonesia's determination to enhance its partnership with the South Pacific region in future, including incentives to hold the Pacific Exposition scheduled in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 12-14, 2019. The event is expected to bring together businesspersons and cultural groups from both Indonesia and the South Pacific region.
ISPF is Indonesia's initiative to forge concrete cooperation with South Pacific countries and territories in the field of trade by reducing trade and investment barriers and stepping up technical cooperation, capacity building, and development cooperation.
SOURCE: ANTARA NEWS/PACNEWS
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