South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo attend a welcoming ceremony at Changddeokgung Palace in Seoul on Monday (10/09). (Antara Photo/Jeon Heon-kyun)

Indonesia, South Korea Aim to Double Bilateral Trade by 2022


SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia and South Korea agreed on Monday (10/09) to further strengthen relations and improve cooperation, while their leaders expressed determination to increase bilateral trade to $30 billion within the next five years.

Trade between the two countries amounted to more than $17 billion last year, having increased nearly 20 percent since 2016.

"We have set a target for our bilateral trade to reach $30 billion by 2022," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said at a press conference in Seoul, as quoted in a statement by the Cabinet Secretariat.

The president was on a two-day state visit to Seoul, reciprocating a visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Jakarta in November.

The two countries agreed at the time to boost cooperation through a special strategic partnership agreement, aimed at accelerating industrialization in Indonesia, increase economic and trade ties and people-to-people exchange.

Jokowi has made it clear during his visit to Seoul that the two countries plan a quick implementation of the agreement.

"What I wish to see is efforts to further develop and strengthen the relationship between the countries and I will work to make sure we will be able to realize actual changes," Jokowi said, as quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Jokowi and Moon discussed efforts to boost exchange between their people and plan to launch a new "young leaders' dialogue" to achieve this goal.

Indonesia and South Korea, which celebrate 45 years of bilateral relations this year, also agreed to expand cooperation in railways, real estate development and smart transportation systems.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding, consisting of cooperation on immigration, security and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The two Asian countries seek to promote cooperation in the automobile, information, communication and agricultural sectors, Moon's executive office said in a press release.

During his visit, Jokowi also held a meeting with South Korean business leaders, including CJ Group chairman Lee Jae-hyun and Hyundai vice chairman Chung Ei-sun.

The president said several business deals worth $6.2 billion were signed during the 2018 Indonesia-Korea Business and Investment Forum on Monday.

At $2 billion, South Korea was Indonesia's sixth-largest investor last year, contributing 6.3 percent of total foreign direct investment, according to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) data.

Moon's visit to Jakarta last year was his first to Southeast Asia since taking office. The South Korean government is now pursuing its so-called "New Southern Policy," which focuses on increasing the country's diplomatic and economic ties with member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

South Korea seeks to more than double its trade with Asean to $200 billion by 2020.