JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Not even the coronavirus pandemic has weakened Indonesia's resolve to conclude negotiations for international trade agreements with a number of countries, said the Ministry of Trade.
Some of these trade deals with partner countries are expected to be finalized by the end of 2020, and Indonesia's negotiators are optimistic these completion targets can be met despite the challenges brought on by the global health crisis.
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Vice Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga acknowledged the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic on discussions for a number of Indonesia's international trade agreements.
Lockdowns have stood in the way of country visits to discuss the details of the trade agreements.
“For example, we were supposed to visit Belgium or they visit us in Indonesia to negotiate several items of the agreement, but it has been postponed due to lockdown restrictions. Thus, we cannot physically meet,” said Jerry.
This has not, however, stopped Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade to keep the talks going using online platforms.
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Jerry admitted though that online trade talks take much longer.
But regardless of the longer time needed for negotiations, discussions over Indonesia’s international trade agreements will not be stalled, he added.