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Jakarta Post

Indonesia, South Korea boost business cooperation amid pandemic

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 1, 2020   /   03:35 pm
Indonesia, South Korea boost business cooperation amid pandemic Courtesy call: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (right) talks to South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Kim Gunn during his visit to Jakarta on Sept. 28. (twitter.com/@Menlu_RI)

Indonesia and South Korea have strengthened their business ties with investments worth trillions of rupiah that will also create thousands of job opportunities in the Southeast Asian country.

A recent visit of State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia to Seoul resulted in at least three business deals, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Wednesday.

South Korean glass manufacturer KC Glass Co. Ltd. is set to invest Rp 5.1 trillion (US$342.9 million) in a deal that can help employ up to 1,300 Indonesian workers.

Meanwhile, garment company PT Sejin Fashion Indonesia, a subsidiary of South Korean footwear manufacturer Parkland Co., Ltd., plans to relocate its production base from China to Indonesia. With an investment of Rp 1.2 trillion, it could provide 4,000 new jobs for Indonesians.

South Korea’s largest chemical company, LG Chem Ltd., is set to develop an electric car battery plant and bring a "huge amount" of investment into the archipelago, Retno said, though the exact figure was still being calculated.

As Indonesia faces an economic downturn because of the COVID-19 crisis, a wave of foreign companies has confirmed plans to relocate their production facilities to the country, mostly from China, which is predicted to bring $850 million in investments and employ up to Indonesian 30,000 workers.

Read also: Indonesia teams up with global manufacturers in vaccine hunt

In the health sector, Indonesia and South Korea are currently working together through pharmaceutical companies Kalbe Farma and Genexine to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Since the beginning [of the pandemic], South Korea has been an important partner for Indonesia in providing medical supplies needed to handle COVID-19, including personal protective equipment,” Retno said.

Amid global travel restrictions in place due to the novel coronavirus, Indonesia and South Korea arranged a travel corridor for essential business and official visits (TCA), effective on Aug. 17.

During a courtesy visit to Jakarta on Monday, South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Kim Gunn expressed his appreciation for Indonesia’s consistency in promoting multilateralism and its commitment to maintaining regional stability in ASEAN, Retno said.

“[Kim] took a good look at the message conveyed in the statement of ASEAN foreign ministers on Aug. 8 regarding ASEAN’s commitment to maintaining regional peace, stability and prosperity,” Retno said.

In addition, Kim delivered an invitation from South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to conduct a Joint Ministerial Commission in Seoul at the end of this year and to participate in the UN Peacekeeping Operations Ministerial Meeting next year, she added.