RI, Korea to double trade in four years

Source: The Jakarta Post (12/09/2018)

Indonesian and South Korean business players have agreed on a US$6.2 billion business deal that will see several Korean companies invest in a number of manufacturing industries in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The signing of the business deal was witnessed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a bilateral business forum in Seoul that was organized in part to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Jokowi said the two countries set a target of boosting bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2022.

“Amid [financial] uncertainties around the world, Indonesia and South Korea manage to maintain a strong [diplomatic] relationship. Our trade in 2017 increased by 20 percent [to $17 billion],” Jokowi said in Seoul on Monday.

He expressed optimism over achieving the goal, as investors and businesspeople in South Korea have responded positively to it. In his visit, Jokowi also had talks with businesspeople in Seoul as part of an effort to increase South Korean investment in Indonesia.

Jokowi met with representatives of four South Korean conglomerates — CJ Group chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, Lotte Group vice chairman Hwang Kag-gyu, Hyundai Motor Company vice chairman Chung Eui-sun and South Korean steelmaker POSCO chief executive Choi Jeong-woo — in separate meetings in Seoul on Monday, according to the State Palace.

“In the meetings, they [the businesspeople] expressed appreciation for Indonesia, which has improved the investment climate for foreign investors,” said Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, who accompanied Jokowi in the meetings.

The business leaders also reiterated their commitment to help Indonesia improve its domestic industries and catch up with foreign players.

“Their commitment is to hire more Indonesian manpower and to improve the transfer of technology,” Retno added.

Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said he believed the cooperation could boost Indonesia’s manufacturing industry.

Later in the same visit, Jokowi and Moon signed six memorandums of understanding (MoUs) concerning several aspects of bilateral affairs, including trade.

Among the documents signed by Jokowi and Moon were MoUs on immigration, economy, human resource management, diplomatic cooperation between Indonesia’s Cabinet secretary and South Korea’s Ministry of Government Legislation, maritime security and Industry 4.0 development.

Moon, who visited Jakarta in November last year, said the two nations would commit to strengthening bilateral ties through various assemblies and exchanges among high-ranking government officials.

“I will ensure the real-world implementation of our agreements so that [people in Indonesia and South Korea] can directly benefit from them,” he added.

The South Korean president also said he appreciated Indonesia’s contribution to pacification efforts on the Korean Peninsula. He expected Indonesia, through its role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to maintain its support of pacification efforts on the peninsula and other war-torn parts of the globe.

Previously, bilateral ties between Indonesia and South Korea took center stage when famous K-pop boybands Super Junior and IKON performed during the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on Sept. 2.

Jokowi and First Lady Iriana had a chance to stroll the streets of Seoul and meet Indonesians there.

Jokowi and his entourage walked from Lotte Hotel, where they are staying during their visit, to the Cheongyecheon in the middle of Seoul, South Korea, about 1 kilometer from the hotel.

Several officials also joined the walk, namely Retno, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Syafruddin, Creative Economy Agency head Triawan Munaf and Indonesian Ambassador to South Korea Umar Hadi.

Jokowi said he was impressed by measures taken by the Seoul administration to keep the river clean.

The President delivered a speech during a general lecture at Hankuk University in Seoul.

In the company of First Lady Iriana and several of his Cabinet ministers, Jokowi received applause from students upon their arrival at the university at around 10:30 a.m. local time.

According to the university, Jokowi is the 18th head of state to have been invited to give a lecture at the university.

On the occasion, Jokowi talked about the success of the recently concluded Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra.

“The Asian Games this year really demonstrated the spectacular human capital in Asia,” he said. (rfa)



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