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S Korea, Indonesia seek 'win-win solution'
Publication Date : 06-03-2013
South Korea and Indonesia will promote and further enhance their existing bilateral relations, cooperation and people-to-people diplomacy as both celebrates the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Ambassador Kim Young-sun said on Tuesday that both countries have enjoyed a close relationship within a relatively short period in comparison with other countries.
“The South Korean community is the largest in Indonesia, with 50,000 citizens across the archipelago. There are around 2,000 Korean businesses in the country, over 150 of them are restaurants located in Greater Jakarta alone,” he told a press conference on the announcement of the string of events to commemorate Korea-Indonesia Friendship Year.
He said that his country still sees Indonesia as strategic partner, which according to him, could only be built based on trust.
“We are seeking long-term cooperation and to be able to do so we have to have a similar vision and values. By strategic partnership, I see it as cooperation where the two countries benefit from it. In other words, there should be a win-win solution.”
The ambassador reminded that Korean businesses have created jobs for over 1.1 million Indonesians thus has contributed in creating a stable economy.
South Korea is the fifth-largest foreign state investor in Indonesia, which investment reached US$1.2 billion in 2011, four times the figure in 2010.
In 2011 trade volume was at $31 billion, and there are aims to increase it to $40 billion by 2014 and $100 billion by 2020.
Currently, Korean steel giant Posco has pledged investment of a total of $11 billion which could boost production of 3 million tons of cold steel in the first phase, and double in the second phase of investment, the ambassador said.
However, Kim said, there were challenges in the relationship that both countries must settle.
“We encourage good governance of Indonesia as we expect reasonable and predictable public policy for us to go along with.
“Indonesia has to be able to create a good investment climate. Korean businesses are facing difficulties with the minimum wage hike,” he said.
According to the Jakarta Manpower Agency, at least 360 companies have sought approval from the administration to postpone the new minimum monthly wager.
According to the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), a number of foreign companies particularly from South Korea and India have relocated their businesses to other Asian countries following the wage increase.
“Therefore, it is high time for us to get to know each other well to determine the next frontier of the relationships,” Kim said.
The celebrations will officially start on March 8 with a reception and cultural performances followed by a Music Bank show on the next day which will present Korean and Indonesian pop artists.
Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry’s director general of creative economy Ahman Sya said that Indonesia could learn from South Korea about creative industry. Korea has invaded the globe with their art and pop music.
“Indonesia has the potential to develop creative economy with young people comprising 43 per cent of the population. We encourage Indonesians to appreciate homegrown products, but exchanging cultures between countries will widen our knowledge for our advantage,” said Ahman.
The string of events will include seminars on politics, economy and trade, culture as well as defense in both countries.
Both countries have been involved in deeper defense cooperation, including the joint jet fighter KFX/IFX development.The ambassador on Tuesday assured the continuity of the program between both countries amid news that Seoul has postponed financing the second phase, the Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the joint jet fighter development. The EMD phase will lead to a number of prototypes for static and flight testing by 2020 before entering the third or production phase.
Indonesia is committed to procure 50 jet fighters while South Korea is expected to procure some 20.