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|Date: 23 February 2011 - Author: The Jakarta Post|
|Indonesia is expected to become the first Asian country to conclude a legal timber trade agreement with the EU after negotiators on both sides agreed to conclude the agreement within the next three months.|
|The agreement, namely the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade – Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT-VPA), is expected to serve as a credible trade instrument allowing only legally verified timber and timber products from partner countries to be supplied to the EU market. FLEGT is a multi-prolonged action plan to tackle illegal logging launched by the EU in 2003 in partnership with timber producing countries.|
“We're nearly there. This agreement is crucial for Indonesia as it enables Indonesian timber exporters to expand their market for timber and timber products in the EU,” Indonesia's Forestry Ministry director general for forestry business management Iman Santoso said Wednesday. “This is especially important because the EU has just enacted a timber regulation prohibiting the sale of illegally harvested timber on the EU market by March 2013,” he added in a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post. The value of Indonesia's timber trade with the EU stands at an estimated US$1 billion per year.