EU, RI ready to sign timber trade agreement
JAKARTA: The European Union (EU) and Indonesia are preparing to sign a Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade - Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT-VPA), a joint statement said Wednesday.
“We are nearly there,” Forestry Ministry business development director general Iman Santoso said in the statement. It is expected the agreement will be concluded in the next two to three months.
“This agreement is crucial for Indonesia as it enables Indonesian timber exporters to expand their market for timber and timber products to the EU.”
Iman said the agreement was important as the EU had just enacted a timber regulation prohibiting the sale of illegally harvested timber in the EU by March 2013.
The value of the timber trade between the EU and Indonesia, the first Asian country to have such a timber agreement with the EU, stands at about US$1 billion per year, the statement said.
The EU ambassador to Indonesia, Julian Wilson, welcomed the development, saying it was a big step forward for trade relations between Indonesia and the EU. — JP