JAKARTA, July 1 (Reuters): Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates on Friday signed a free trade agreement, strengthening economic ties between Southeast Asia's largest economy and the major oil producer Gulf state.
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, signed in Abu Dhabi, will eliminate or sharply reduce duties on most goods traded between the nations.
The accord includes chapters on services, investments, intellectual property rights and mutual recognition of each others halal certification, Indonesia's trade ministry said.
There was no immediate comment by UAE officials. Emirati Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi and Indonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan are to hold a press conference later on Friday.
The text of the agreement was not immediately published and still needs to be ratified by Indonesia's parliament, which could take several months.
Oil rich UAE has forged closer trade ties with Indonesia as part of an ambition to double its own economy to $816 billion by the end of the decade, in part by signing free trade agreements.
Indonesia and UAE traded about $4 billion worth of goods with each other last year, the Indonesian trade ministry said.
Indonesia's main exports to the UAE are palm oil, jewelry and precious metals, while Emirati exports to Indonesia are mostly petroleum gases and non-crude oils, iron and non-alloy steel, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
"This agreement will be Indonesia’s entrance to UAE..., a hub to increase exports to non-traditional destination countries such as in the Gulf region, Middle East, Africa and South Asia,” Indonesia's Hasan said in a statement. - Reuters