Indonesia to set up team to implement EPA

Jakarta (Antara News) - Chief Economic Minister Boediono said that the government would form a special team to supervise the implementation of the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

"We will set up a special team which will monitor the implementation phase by phase of the EPA, including emerging opportunities," the minister said during a Japan-Indonesia Business Forum on Monday.

He said that Indonesia actually already had a national team for Exports and Investment Promotions (PEPI). This team will be given additional task to monitor opportunities with regard to the establsihment of the EPA.

"The team will coordinate with business owners on what are to be needed with regard to the EPA," he added.

He said that the establishment of EPA was a strategic step as Japan is an exceptional sources of investment.

Indonesia and Japan Monday concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which is expected to facilitate faster expansion of bilateral cooperation in various areas, and the economic field in particular.

The agreement was signed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his Japanese counterpart Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the State Palace here.

About 80 Japanese and Indonesian businessmen and a number of ministers from the two countries attended the EPA signing ceremony.

Under the EPA, it was expected that Indonesian exports to Japan and Japanese exports to Indonesia would in stages be freed from 90 percent duties and excise levies.

The phased reduction of duties would be carried out over a period of 10 years as of the signing of the EPA, Satoh said.

It would also enable Indonesian semi-professional workers to enter Japan.

Japan is Indonesia`s biggest trading partner, while Indonesia is Japan`s biggest LNG supplier. Japan`s investment in Indonesia from 1967 to 2005 reached 293 billion US dollars.

With the signing of the EPA, Indonesia had set itself the target of luring a flow of Japanese investment totaling US$140 billion to US$160 billion. (*)
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