Despite an apparent decline in both Indonesia’s and South Korea’s trade this year, both countries have agreed to collaborate in advancing industrialization.
During his visit to Seoul on Monday, President Joko Widodo met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye to discuss plans to work together to speed up industrialization in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
“Banking on the prospects of welcoming South Korean investment to the industrial sector, Indonesia intends to make South Korea a partner to accelerate industrialization in Indonesia,” President Widodo said as reported by The Jakarta Post.
In a bid to reduce Indonesia’s steel imports, President Widodo is allowing steel firm POSCO to expand its plant in the country, to produce 10 million tonnes of steel together with Krakatau Steel. Accordingly, the president hopes that POSCO’s expansion plans will help Indonesia develop its own domestic steel industry.
Last year, Indonesia and Korea saw a decrease in trade value, dropping from US$22.47 billion in 2014 to US$16.7 the year after. Aiming to recover from the fall, President Widodo encouraged both countries to work on improving trade by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers.
To realize his vision of making Indonesia the biggest digital economy in Southeast Asia by 2020, President Widodo also asked South Korea to cooperate in capacity building, technical and technological assistance, co-branding and co-production programmes.
Both countries are also signed up to improve the maritime sector, specifically illegal fishing and fisheries processing. In addition, President Park has expressed interest in increasing investment in infrastructure in the maritime sector.