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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea's industry ministry said Wednesday it will seek to strike a trade deal with Indonesia within this year in its latest efforts to diversify its trade portfolio and cope with growing protectionism around the globe.
Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo met his Indonesian counterpart Airlangga Hartarto in Seoul earlier in the day and expressed that the two countries need to complete the negotiations for the so-called Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was resumed in February after a hiatus of five years.
A CEPA is equivalent to a free trade agreement but also focuses on a broader scope of economic cooperation beyond trade.
Sung claimed South Korea is looking to forge deeper ties, among others, in the steel, petrochemical and automotive segments with Indonesia.
While South Korea clinched a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2007, Seoul launched a separate free trade talk with Indonesia in 2012 to meet specific needs between the two countries.
The latest effort to clinch a trade deal with Indonesia came in line with South Korea's efforts to diversify its trade portfolio and ease its dependency on the United States and China.
The amount of trade between the two reached US$20 billion in 2018, with Indonesia being the 12nd-largest trading partner for South Korea.
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Source: Yonhap News (June 26, 2019)