S Korea-Indonesia trade

SEOUL, March 28 (Yonhap) -- Trade ministers of South Korea and Indonesia will hold talks on ways to improve their countries' economic ties, which include signing a bilateral free trade deal, the Seoul government said Thursday.

The meeting between South Korea's Yoon Sang-jick and his Indonesian counterpart Gita Irawan Wirjawan was to be held here later Thursday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

"The two sides are expected to discuss various issues from the upcoming trade ministers' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the ministers' meeting of the World Trade Organization," the ministry said in a press release.

Thursday's meeting also comes as the countries are moving to sign a bilateral free trade deal, called the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA).

"The ministers will also discuss ways to move forward negotiations for the Korea-Indonesia CEPA," the ministry said. Negotiations for the bilateral free trade deal with Indonesia were launched late last year. South Korea already has a free trade agreement with the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Indonesia.

Indonesia is South Korea's eighth-largest trading partner with the countries' bilateral trade more than doubling in just six years from US$13.7 billion in 2006 to $29.6 billion last year, according to the ministry.

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