Jakarta. Indonesia is open for any trade cooperation and it ensures easier procedures to invest in the country with ten economic policy packages. Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated this when receiving the Ambassador of the European Union to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and ASEAN HE Mr Vincent Guerend at his office in Jakarta on Feb. 16.

The Vice President then appreciated the good relationship between Indonesia and the European Union (EU) so far, particularly on trade and economy.

“Other than being the largest market in ASEAN, Indonesia is now growing as a middle-class country which prioritizes the development of infrastructure and technology. We encourage business players from EU countries to put investment in these sectors,” he said.

Some investment proposals from European countries such as from Finland, Sweden, German, Switzerland, and Norway, Mr Kalla, need to be soon realized.

“We have established a team under the coordination of Trade Ministry to make a review on the renegotiation of Comprehensive Economic and Partnership Agreement (CEPA), particularly on long-term cooperation between Indonesia and EU,” he said.

Ambassador Guerend who came with his Head of Politics, Press, and Information Mr Julio Arias welcome the ten economic policy packages by the Indonesian government. This, he said, is hoped able to boost investment in the country from EU countries.

According to him, EU countries are intent to make investment particularly on infrastructure, financial services, and tourism.

“We see Indonesia as a strategic partner, considering its abundant natural and human resources, and its crucial position in ASEAN region,” said Mr Guerend.

He further said CEPA between Indonesia and EU has been in the scoping paper and is hoped to be sealed immediately.

The trade value between EU and Indonesia, Ambassador Guerend said, has reached 3 to 4 billion Euro and after CEPA is signed, it will surge up to 5 billion Euro.

On the occasion, the Vice President conveyed his complaint on France’s policy which potentially damage Indonesian crude palm oil (CPO) exported to the country.

“We know it has something to do with the environmental issue. I need to advise you that Indonesia has been committed to put concern on sustainable environment while producing its palm oil, for instance by limiting the number of new peatland clearing and by restoring damaged peatlands,” he affirmed.

French customers, Guerend in reply said, are very concerned about the issue of sustainable environment related to palm oil production. However, he continued, the policy in the country on palm oil has not yet been a regulation.

Aside from the economic issue, Ambassador Guerend appreciated Indonesia as the largest Muslim country which can be the showcase of peaceful Islam.

“Indonesia can be a good example particularly for other Muslim countries,” he said.

The ambassador also felt glad about Mr Kalla’s active role in peacebuilding activities. He, Mr Guerend added, was proven to be successfully mediating conflicting parties in Thailand, Philippines, and Myanmar.