JAKARTA: Indonesia and Bangladesh have agreed to accelerate talks on the first round of the Indonesia-Bangladesh Preferential Trade Agreement (IB-PTA) in the first half of 2018. Indonesia and Bangladesh are aware of the great trade potential that can be explored,” said the Trade Ministry’s international trade negotiation director general, Iman Pambagyo, who led the Indonesian delegation in the IB-PTA pre-meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday.
As a country with a growing economy and a large population, Bangladesh has an opportunity to become a major trade destination for Indonesia,” Iman said in a statement.
The other topic agreed to during the meeting was the completion of the terms of reference (ToR) for the trade negotiating committee (TNC) for the second IB-PTA pre-meeting. The meeting on the IB-PTA was a follow-up to a meeting between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit in Jakarta in March, 2017. During the meeting, two heads of state agreed to strengthen trade cooperation between the two Asian countries through the establishment of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), trade between the two countries reached US$1.33 billion in 2016 with Indonesia enjoying a significant surplus of $1.19 billion.