Indonesia, South Korea aim to sign trade deal by November

Indonesia Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said an agreement could boost two-way trade to US$30 billion within three years from US$20 billion in 2018.
Indonesia Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said an agreement could boost two-way trade to US$30 billion within three years from US$20 billion in 2018.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ENGGARTIASTO LUKITA

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia and South Korea agreed on Tuesday (Feb 19) to resume talks on a bilateral trade and investment agreement and aim to sign a deal by November.

Speaking at a business conference in Jakarta, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said an agreement could boost two-way trade to US$30 billion within three years from US$20 billion in 2018.

Indonesia had put the negotiations on hold in 2014 due to a change of government in Jakarta and various technical reasons, said Iman Pambagyo, a Trade Ministry official.

Lukita said Indonesia reopened negotiations to avoid being "left behind", adding that Vietnam's trade with South Korea had reached US$60 billion.

"South Korea has so much potential for investment and trade," he said, adding it was the fifth-largest foreign direct investor in the South-east Asian nation.

South Korea was seeking to collaborate in technology and heavy industries, including the chemical and construction sectors, Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong told the conference.

Indonesia aims to increase exports of agriculture and fishery products, as well as textiles and machinery to South Korea, trade officials said.