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S. Korea, Indonesia to hold free trade talks this week

According to Yonhap News,

(SEJONG=Yonhap News) South Korea plans to hold talks with Indonesia this week on their bilateral free trade deal, as part of efforts to diversify its trade portfolio amid the looming protectionism around the globe, the trade ministry said Tuesday.

South Korea and Indonesia have been seeking to strike the so-called Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Their negotiations were 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.

The two countries held their first round of negotiations in 2012. The upcoming talks, the ninth of their kind, will be held on the southern resort island of Jeju from Wednesday to Friday, according to the ministry.

Indonesia is the second-largest trading partner among Southeast Asian countries for South Korea, with their bilateral trade volume reaching US$20 billion in 2018.

South Korea has been making efforts to reach a separate deal with Indonesia since 2012 to meet specific needs, although Seoul also has a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Asia's No. 4 economy is currently working to clinch FTAs with Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines within this year in time for the South Korea-ASEAN summit slated for November.

If all the negotiations under way are successful, South Korea will have free trade deals with all five of its top ASEAN trading partners.

Source Text

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Source: Yonhap News (August 27, 2019)

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