France confirms EU trade preferences for Indonesia

3rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - The European Union is to extend preferential trade conditions to Indonesia from April, France's foreign trade minister said Wednesday after talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Marie Pangestu.

PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - The European Union is to extend preferential trade conditions to Indonesia from April, France's foreign trade minister said Wednesday after talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Marie Pangestu.

"These trade preferences are going to be put in place from April 1 instead of July 1 to help Indonesia, which will benefit in this way from lower customs duty in certain sectors," Francois Loos told AFP.

Negotiations on the matter between EU states are ongoing, but it looked likely Indonesdia would, for instance, see duty on shoe exports to the EU cut from 17 percent to 13.5 percent, Loos said.

He added that France would give bilateral aid to Indonesia to help with aquaculture on the island of Batam, supply signal buoys for the management of fish stocks, and authorise the French development agency to participate in reconstruction of areas devastated by the December 26 tsunami through subsidised loans.

"We are prepared to pursue the renegotiation of Indonesia's foreign debt, upon the repayments of which France put a moratorium. And we are also prepared, as far as the debt goes with France, to convert it into investments, up to USD 65 million (EUR 50 million)," Loos said.

The French minister said he would visit Jakarta March 3-5 with a delegation of French businessmen.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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