Indonesia and South Korea agreed on Tuesday to resume talks on a bilateral trade and investment agreement and aimed to sign a deal by November 2019.
Speaking at a business conference in Jakarta, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said an agreement could boost two-way trade to $30 billion within three years from $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 as quoted by The Jakarta Post.
Lukita said Indonesia reopened negotiations to avoid being "left behind", adding that Vietnam's trade with South Korea had reached $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 Southeast 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.
The government has launched one-stop investment services in Batam to help process business permits on the island city, which has been designated as one of the country’s special economic zones.
The one-stop services are located at a public service mall inaugurated recently by the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister.
Susiwijono, a secretary at the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister, said the clinic would help speed up the issuance of permits related to goods, land, the environment, manpower and immigration.
The facility will be connected to the online single submission (OSS) system, an integrated web-based government licensing service intended to simplify the process of obtaining business permits for companies in various sectors, excluding finance and mining.
The one-stop services are expected to boost investment in the region as difficulties in obtaining licenses often discourage businesspeople, having caused Indonesia to slide to 73rd place on the World Bank’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business Index from its previous position of 72.
(source: The Jakarta Post)