With Covid-19 pushing the nation into a likely recession, the Foreign Ministry has released additional capital to strengthen its economic diplomacy. In addition to the focus on economic diplomacy, the one-year review showed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has changed the priorities set at the beginning of the year. The country has also opened discussions on preferential trade agreements with partners such as India and Mozambique. Earlier this year, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo mandated the country`s diplomats to focus on ensuring economic benefits and set up a deputy foreign minister who had extensive experience in the top positions of the economic cabinet. At the regional level, the two countries are working to conclude a broader and transnational trade agreement. In terms of population and economic size, RCEP will be the largest regional trading bloc in the world and account for about a third of the world`s gross domestic product (GDP). Experts said it would be the second most important trade deal after the World Trade Organization and a landmark deal for Indo-Pacific economies if they tried to re-establish regional ties separated by the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. “IK-CEPA is expected to contribute positively to the transformation of indonesia`s economy into a developed country by strengthening investment, economic cooperation and technical assistance and fostering south Korea`s knowledge and technology transfer, including improving labor quality standards,” Pambagyo said. The minister said Indonesia will focus on three priority themes for the rest of the year: protecting Indonesian citizens abroad, contributing to global peace and stability, and helping the government deal with the pandemic, both in terms of health and socio-economic impacts. Both parties will now continue the legal process of completing the text of the contract, which is expected to be completed by February 2020 and signed in the first half of 2020. BUSAN/JAKARTA — South Korea and Indonesia on Monday concluded seven-and-a-half years of negotiations for a free trade agreement with an agreement to eliminate tariffs on steel, cars and beer. The agreement gives Indonesian industrial, fisheries and agricultural products better access to the South Korean market.
In exchange, Indonesia will buy industrial raw materials from South Korea to facilitate South Korean investment in the country. Some observers claim that Indonesia has set up economic diplomacy to connect the dots between its bilateral trade relations and multilateral efforts such as RCEP, after ensuring in early July by the Indonesian-Australian CEPA mutually beneficial market access with Australia. . . .