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Canada, Indonesia Trade Talks Begin for Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The CEPA would benefit Canadian exporters and importers as it will improve access to ASEAN’s largest economy and the world’s fourth most populous country.

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Canada, Indonesia Trade Talks Begin for Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

On January 11, 2021, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, Mary Ng, announced that the country has launched public consultations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Indonesia. 

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This public consultation is a regulatory process that takes into account the public’s input for large-scale projects, policies, and laws, among others. Canadians will have until February 23, 2021, to submit their response to these consultations.

The CEPA would benefit Canadian exporters and importers as it will improve access to ASEAN’s largest economy and the world’s fourth most populous country.

Bilateral trade between Canada and Indonesia remains small — amounting to just over US$3.7 billion in 2019 — compared to its neighbor, the US, whose total bilateral trade with Indonesia reached US$30 billion in the same year.

Canada is a major exporter of wheat and meslin products to Indonesia, valued at over US$500 million and although demand dipped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected to increase again in 2021, presenting scalable business opportunities for Canadian suppliers.

Indonesia imports over 11 million tons of wheat annually — making it one of the world’s largest importers of the crop — as the country’s tropical climate makes it difficult to grow the crop.  Rising per capita income as well as the growing middle-class have been attributed to the increased consumption of wheat-based products.  

Canada roughly holds a 16 percent market share, exporting over 2.28 million tons to Indonesia and thus making the country Canada’s largest export market for the crop. Canadian durum wheat is especially popular in Indonesia, as it is used to make bread and noodles. Indonesia is the world’s second-largest instant noodle market only after China with demand reaching over 12 billion servings yearly.

The country does face competition from Australia, which accounts for between 40 to 60 percent of Indonesia’s annual wheat imports, valued at over US$1.2 billion. Australian businesses have also another advantage in this sector the Indonesia and Australia ratified the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), which was ratified in February 2020. The IA-CEPA will improve market access for goods and nearly all goods exported from each other’s market will have reduced tariffs or will be tariff-free.

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This article was first published by AseanBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected]

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Asean

Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN

The study, which holds a gender lens up to each of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, confirms that when two or more forms of discrimination overlap, barriers increase

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Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN, new data shows

JAKARTA, 1 March 2021 – Women and girls across South-East Asia who are members of an ethnic minority, live in a rural location, or suffer from poverty are at greatest risk of being left behind despite the region’s recent progress in gender equality, according to a new report by ASEAN and UN Women.

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Ecommerce

Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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Startups

Vietnam Loship secures investment from Skype co-founder

This capital injection marks Loship as the first portfolio company of MetaPlanet in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

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Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Loship, Vietnam’s fast-growing one-hour-delivery e-commerce startup, has announced its latest investment from Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

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