South Korea and Indonesia have decided to sign a planned comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) at the earliest to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 outbreak, according to media reports.
The partnership will allow South Korea to explore 93pc of Indonesian markets, compared to the current 80pc. The timeframe for the agreement to commence is yet unclear.
Under Cepa, Indonesia would lift its tariffs on steel and auto parts from South Korea, among other products.
At present, Indonesia levies 5pc on hot-rolled steel sheets; 5pc-15pc on cold-rolled steel sheets and plated steel sheets, and 5pc on automobiles and auto parts from South Korea.
South Korea in turn will lift tariffs on a few non-metallic articles from Indonesia.
In 2019, Indonesia imported 1,233,767mt of steel and steel products from South Korea, up by 12.03pc from the year prior, as per a Davis Index analysis.
After seven years of discussion, the agreement between the two countries was finalised in November 2019.