“Korea, Indonesia discuss stronger bilateral trade”

KOREA—-South Korea and Indonesia on Thursday agreed to cooperate in overcoming the economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic by maintaining trade ties and improving the business environment.

Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo met his Indonesian counterpart Bahlil Lahadalia in Seoul, sharing ideas on expanding trades and investment between the two nations, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

The two also discussed improving the business environment for South Korean steel, chemical, automobile, and textile companies operating in Indonesia.

An estimated 2,000 South Korean firms from various sectors have operations in Indonesia.

Indonesia is South Korea’s fourth-largest export destination among the member states of ASEAN, along with Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Outbound shipments to Indonesia reached US$7.65 billion in 2019, down 13.4 percent from the previous year. Exports, however, advanced 27.2 percent and 5.1 percent on-year in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Seoul and Jakarta struck the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in November last year, and are currently waiting for the official implementation.

The CEPA is equivalent to a free trade agreement but focuses on a broader scope of economic cooperation. The two resumed their FTA negotiations in 2019 after a five-year hiatus. (Yonhap)

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