JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia and Mozambique have started negotiations on the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), an official leading the Indonesian delegation said on Tuesday.

Bilateral Negotiation Director at the Trade Ministry Ni Made Ayu Marhini said the two sides have approved most of the articles to establish the PTA during the initial round of the negotiation held in the Mozambique capital of Maputo from May 31 to June 1.

“The negotiation process followed a joint statement made by trade ministers of both countries during the Indonesia-Africa Forum held in Bali in April,” Made was quoted as saying in a statement.

She said both countries have been committed to completing the negotiations by the end of this year, enabling business people from the two nations to immediately benefit from the PTA.

Made said process to establish a PTA with Mozambique was part of the government’s efforts to seek new markets for its exports, which were strongly encouraged by President Joko Widodo.

She said Mozambique, possibly as Indonesia’s first PTA partner in African, may serve as a hub for the remaining African markets, particularly on the southern African continent.

Indonesia’s potential products for Mozambique are soaps, palm oil, cement, margarine and papers. Indonesia imports grain, ferro-alloy, raw tobacco and cotton from Mozambique.