05 Apr 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 05 APRILBrussels Daily
EU and Indonesia advance towards free trade negotiations
Yesterday afternoon, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström held a meeting with Mr Thomas T. Lembong, the Minister of Trade of Indonesia, with the aim to define the scope of a potential bilateral free trade agreement that the two partners are getting ready to negotiate. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, said: “I’m very happy with the progress that we have been able to make so far towards a free trade deal with Indonesia. These constructive discussions have confirmed that Indonesia is making free trade with the EU a priority. Some work still remains to be done, and we are making progress in our efforts to solve outstanding issues.” The 2015 EU trade policy strategy “Trade for all” identified Indonesia as one of the priority partners for opening of free trade talks. Indonesia offers a large market with much untapped potential. It is the largest economy in South-East Asia, representing 40% of GDP and population of the Association of South-Asian Nations (ASEAN) but it ranks only at fourth place inside the region when it comes to trade with the EU.
Commission invests over €7.5 million for sustainable growth and jobs in the marine and maritime sectors
The Commission is investing over €7.5 million to boost innovation and create jobs in the marine and maritime sectors. Innovation in sectors like aquaculture, biotechnology or ocean energy is vital for the blue economy to thrive, as recognised by the Commission’s Communication on Innovation in the Blue Economy, but certain bottlenecks, such as the lack of high-skilled professionals and under-investment in knowledge and technology, need to be addressed. The money announced today is available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and divided in calls for proposal focusing on the key areas where the European Union can have the biggest impact: skills, creativity and technology. Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella highlighted: “With these calls for proposals, the European Commission is taking another step to create the conditions for blue growth in Europe. We are developing skills. We are rewarding creativity. We are boosting technology. Armed with these assets, I am convinced that the European maritime industry can become a global pioneer of blue growth.” A press release is available online.