Fri, 10 Dec 2010

Nusa, Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and South Korea have agreed to double their bilateral trade over the next five years.

The agreement was reached during a bilateral meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak on the sidelines of the Bali Democracy Forum here on Thursday.

Trade between the two countries was at present recorded at around US$20 billion and it was hoped it could be increased to US$40 billion over the next five years.

After the meeting that lasted around 30 minutes Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Radjasa explained that besides comitting to increase bilateal trade, South Korea had also expressed its wish to increase its investment in Indonesia.

He said however that the decision to increase investment would only be known next year after the establishment of a special team to identiy investment potentials in Indonesia that South Korea could exploit.

"The value must be huge. Korea really wishes to increase its economic cooperation with Indonesia. I can not as yet mention the value as it would only be determined after our special envoy goes to South Korea next year," he said.

The South Korean investment would likely be done in the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors and economic corridor development projects in several regions.

Besides that, he said, South Korea was also interested in cooperation in the defense field such as submarine building.

"Later the cooperation will be formulated by the minister of defense. Certainly we wish to develop our arms industry PT Pindad as well as other strategic industries," he said.

At the joint press conference held by President Yudhoyono and President Lee Myung-Bank after their meeting, South Korea also expressed its hope to be able to contribute to Indonesia`s economic growth.

President Yudhoyono meanwhile said the two countries agreed to increase economic cooperation that would benefit both.

Besides discussing economic cooperation, Hatta said, the two leaders also discussed the conflict in the Korean peninsula.

He said the issue was discussed privately by the two leaders in a special session.(*)