The 7th EU-Indonesia Business Dialogue

02/05/2018 Latest News

Continuing the success of the EU-Indonesia Business Dialogue (EIBD) event of prior years, the European-Indonesian Business Network (EIBN) once again brought the seminal event to another successful conclusion this year. Held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at the Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta, this 7th iteration of the event adopted the theme “Maximizing Trade and Investment Opportunities and Supporting Economic Reforms”, and succeeded in gathering more than 200 business leaders and goverment representatives from Indoneisa as well as Europe.

EIBN is a partnership between five European chambers of commerce in Indonesia and two counterparts in Europe that aims to promote Indonesia and ASEAN as a highly potential investment destinations among companies from all 28 EU member states and to support their endeavors in exploring the full market potential of Indonesia.

The EIBD is an annual forum conducted by Indonesian and European business leaders to formulate possible solutions and joint recommendations on issues affecting trade and investment between the EU and Indonesia. In this particular year, the event was actively supported by KADIN Indonesia and Apindo.

Morning Sessions

The 7th EIBD carried on the spirit of the restart of negotiations for the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA), which coincided with the 6th EIBD in 2016. The third, and latest, I-EU CEPA negotations took place in Brussels from September 11-15, 2017, and the negotiations took with it recommendations from both Indonesian and European businesses that were compiled at the 6th EIBD.

It was in this same spirit that the 7th EIBD was started with three parallel sessions in the morning. In these four sessions, participants discussed the topics of Services, Standards, and Custom & Trade Facilitation.

On Services, the session discussed the clarity of definition and scope for short term stay visa amongst government agency officials and businesses abroad as Indonesian workers often lack the specific skills these businesses need to operate efficiently. Recommendation includes developing an agreement amongst relevant ministries or institutions on visa arrangement and the definition of “work” in Indonesia.

On Standards, businesses acknowledged that the automotive sector should rely on international standards, while the agriculture, food, and beverage sector acknowledged the need for further capacity building in order to comply with the EU standards. Recommendations were given to establish a standard mapping framework for both Indonesia and the EU to identify gaps and harmonization. 

On Trade & Custom Facilitation sessionbusinesses wished to have integrated platform for trade licensing and port procedures to link with online systems managed by in-line ministries, such as Inaportnet, Inatrade, and CEISA. This integration will improve the automation and efficiency of administrative processes while increasing certainty and transparency. Businesses then expressed their wish to have continuous dialogue with the government, as well as to align the B2B and B2G vessel and cargo handling business processes better.

Plenary Session

The three sessions came to a conclusion with the the plenary session, held at the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in the afternoon. The session was opened by Ulf Backlund, the Chairman of EuroCham; Yono Reksoprodjo, Deputy Head of Permanent Committee for Europe from KADIN and APINDO; and Vincent Guerend, the Ambassador of the European Union for Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. Providing a key remark in the plenary session was the Minister of Industry, Airlangga Hartarto.

Minister Hartarto acknowledged that EIBD provides the opportunity for business to voice their recommendations and concerns. Furthermore, he also highlighted the huge potential of EU-Indonesia CEPA to the development of trade and investment between the two economies. 

“I hope that the 2017 EIBD can continue to produce top recommendations for the development of the business relations between Germany and Indonesia,” he said.

In between sessions, the 7th EIBD also introduced Consultative Desk, consisting of European Countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain. Also participating this desk were BKPM, Kadin, Apindo, and EU Indonesia Business Network.

Joint Gathering

The plenary session also gave participants the opportunity of a first glimpse of a decade of EU-Indonesia Economic Relations, a study conducted by INDEF (Institute for Development of Economic and Finance), commissioned by Eurocham, and co-funded by EU Delegations. Presented by Prof. Dr. Ir. Rina Oktaviani, MS, Senior Economist of INDEF, the study found that Indonesia and the EU are complimentary economic partners, with plenty of room for improvements to reap the full potentials.

The study was followed by a discussion with regards to the I-EU CEPA, including its potential benefits and the various issues that the agreement could address. The panelist of the discussion were Mr. Filip Deraedt, EU Deputy Chief Negotiator for I-EU CEPA; Prof. Oktaviani, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Deputy Chairwoman of APINDO and KADIN and CEO of Sintesa Group; and Dandy Pandi, Head of Global Trade and Receivable Finance at HSBC Indonesia.

The event culminated in a relaxed setting as participants, as well as members of the European and Indonesian business community, gathered together for dinner and networking at the K22 Bar of the Fairmont Hotel.