By Kim Young Shin and Kim Min-Jeung
President Moon Jae-in held a summit with his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, at Cheong Wa Dae on Sept. 10 to discuss ways to strengthen the special strategic partnership that exists between the two countries.
Indonesia is one of the most important partners in the Moon Jae-in administration’s New Southern Policy. It is also the first ASEAN country to have reciprocated state visits with Korea since President Moon took office.
President Widodo's state visit to Korea was from Sept. 9 to 11.
The welcome ceremony for President Widodo and his spouse took place at Changdeokgung Palace, an officially registered UNESCO World Heritage site, in Seoul on Sept. 10. It was the first time for the site to host an official welcome ceremony for a foreign head of state.
“We reconfirmed that we will boost the volume of trade between us to USD 30 billion by 2022,” said President Moon during a joint press briefing after the summit. “We will proceed with new joint business projects for mutual prosperity and create engines of future economic growth.”
“We will augment the number of mutual visits between national authorities concerning policy consultations, and expand mutual visits between people in general for a better quality of life together,” said President Moon.
“Currently, there are many uncertainties around the world, but Korea and Indonesia have successfully built a strong relationship,” said President Widodo. “I was deeply impressed by Korean entrepreneurs and investors, all engaged in activities to invigorate economic cooperation with Indonesia.”
The relationship between the two countries has continued to develop so much so that President Moon called Indonesia a "very valuable friend and a core partner in the New Southern Policy.” During his state visit to Indonesia in November 2017, President Moon formally upgraded the ties between Seoul and Jakarta to a “special strategic partnership.”
“The volume of trade between the two countries is worth USD 20 billion and there are about 3,000 Korean companies that have extended their business to Indonesia,” said President Moon. “Cooperation between our two countries has developed to such a level that we can now discuss joint research and production of jet fighters and submarines. The human exchanges are also very active, so much so that some 600,000 mutual visits were made last year alone.”
“We will closely cooperate on the forming of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and across East Asia,” said President Moon. “I ask for Indonesia’s continued support on those matters as a member of the U.N. Security Council.”
Indonesia will be a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2019-2020 period.
Korea and Indonesia signed six memoranda of understanding (MOUs). They cover immigration, economic cooperation, personnel & administration, legal exchanges & cooperation, marine security, and industrial innovation and research.
President Widodo's state visit to Korea is the second since May 2016 and is a return visit for President Moon Jae-in's state visit to Indonesia in November.
The two leaders strengthened their friendship by visiting the Dongdaemun Design Plaza after the state dinner.