Indonesia, Republic of Korea sign free trade deal hinh anh 1The RoK's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo (R) and Trade minister of Indonesia Agus Suparmanto at the agreement singing ceremony in Seoul on December 18 (Photo: Yonhap/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia and the Republic of Korea on December 18 inked their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA) in Seoul.

The signing marked an important milestone for both countries, when the RoK is increasingly interested in making Indonesia a new production base in Southeast Asian region.

Trade minister of Indonesia, Agus Suparmanto said at a virtual press conference the same day that he believes the IK-CEPA will make Indonesia’ economy stronger, more competitive, open, and more attractive to RoK investors.

Suparmanto emphasised that the signing of the IK-CEPA showed the commitment of the two countries to strengthen economic relations in the midst of a challenging global economic situation in recent years before finally being faced with the COVID-19 situation. He hoped that the IK-CEPA can assist the economic recovery of the two countries more quickly.

Under the pact, the RoK will eliminate up to 95.54 percent of its tariff posts, while Indonesia will eliminate 92.06 percent of its tariff posts in goods trade. In services trade, Indonesia and the RoK are committed to opening more than 100 sub-sectors.

In 2019, the RoK was the eighth export destination country and the sixth source of imports for Indonesia. Their two-way trade in 2019 reached 15.65 billion USD, with Indonesian exports to the RoK amounting to 7.23 billion USD and imports from the RoK amounting to 8.42 billion USD.

In the first 11 months of 2020, the value of Indonesia’ non-oil and gas exports to the RoK was recorded at 5.03 billion USD./.