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Indonesia - Korea Special Strategic Partnership

The Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of Korea have established diplomatic relations since 1973. In 2017, President Joko Widodo and President Moon Jae-in agreed to level up the bilateral relations of the two countries from strategic partnership to special strategic partnership– through the Republic of Korea - Republic of indonesia Joint Vision Statement for Co-Prosperity and Peace. Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian country to have the special status. The partnership consists of four focus areas namely defense and foreign relations, trade and infrastructure development, people-to-people exchanges, and regional and global cooperation. Over the years, a wide range of agreements and initiatives had been established to enhance cooperation on the aforementioned areas. 


The newly assumed Republic of Korea’s administration under President Yoon Suk-yeol has reaffirmed the intention to further enhance the special strategic partnership with Indonesia. For that, gathering aspirations from the grassroots is imperative to fill in the special strategic partnership and further develop policy ideas that are greater in impact. In light of this, FPCI and the Korea Foundation convene Indonesia-Korea Special Strategic Partnership Young Professionals Lab to produce a set of strategic policy recommendations to fill in both countries bilateral relations.

Milestone of Indonesia - Republic of Korea relations

1966 - Establishment of Consular Relations

Indonesia and Republic of Korea relations began with the establishment of the Korean Consulate General Office in Jakarta in 1966 followed by Indonesian Consulate General Office in Seoul in 1968.

1968 - First Investment

The Republic of Korea recorded the first Korean investment in Indonesia through KODECO in 1968.

1973 - Enactment of Diplomatic Relations

On September 18, 1973 diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Republic of Korea was officially created. Thus began a new chapter for Indonesia-Korea relations.

1984 - Sister City Ties

The first sister city agreement was signed by R. Soeprapto, governor of Jakarta and Yum Bo Hyun, governor of Seoul. Jakarta and Seoul agreed to include cooperation on administration and population management, environmental supervision and management, arts and cultural programs, and employment training programs.

2010 - Development in Defense Sector

Indonesia and the Republic of Korea marked a milestone in the defense industry sector with the development of KAI KF-X Fighter Aircraft.

2011 - The Opening of Korean Culture Center

On 18 July 2011, the Korean Cultural Center officially took office in Jakarta. The center runs various programs for people including language, culture, exhibitions, and film showings of Korea.

2017 - Special Strategic Partnership

President Moon Jae-in made Indonesia the first state he visited for his Southeast Asia tour and unveiled his agenda on New Southern Policy. The visit embarked the new chapter of bilateral relations where both leaders agreed to elevate the ties into Special Strategic Partnership.

2019 - IK-CEPA Reactivation

On 19 February 2019, Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Minister Hyun Chong Kim signed an agreement to reactivate negotiations on the Indonesia - Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IK-CEPA).

2021 - Five Triliun Rupiah Investment from South Korea

Korea's leading general glass company KCC Glass established its first overseas glass production plant in Indonesia, amounting 5 Trillion Rupiah investment for the operation. PT KCC Glass is the largest glass manufacturer in Southeast Asia.

2021 - First Indonesian-Built Submarine Handed Over to TNI AL

South Korea’s Daewo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) handed over KRI Alugoro (405), a Nagapasa-class submarine, to the Indonesian Navy at PT PAL Shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia.

2022 - Hyundai’s $1.55 Billion Investment for Battery Electric Vehicle Production in Indonesia

South Korea's Hyundai has unveiled the first fully electric, mass-produced car assembled in Indonesia named the IONIQ 5. The company invested $1.55 billion for the production.

2022 - President Yoon Seok-yeol reaffirmed Indonesia to remain as a strategic partner for the Republic of Korea.

2022 - POSCO’s $6.7 Billion investment for Indonesia’s New Capital Nusantara

South Korea’s company, POSCO, has agreed to invest a total of $6.7 billion in the sector of infrastructure, electronic government, and smart city system for Indonesia’s New Capital Nusantara (IKN).

2022 - The Indonesian House of Representatives ratified the Draft Law on IK-CEPA

On August 30, 2022, the government of Indonesia ratified the draft law of the Indonesia-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA) into law (UU).

2022 - South Korea became the 7th largest investor in Indonesia

With a total of $2.29 Billion, Korea became the 7th largest investor in Indonesia. This number was increased by 40.06% from investment realization in 2021.

2022 - KF-21 Boramae succeeded in its first flight test

On September 28, 2022, the KF-21, a joint development cooperation between Indonesia and Korea, succeeded to underwent its first flight test at Sacheon Air Base, Korea.

2023  - IK-CEPA was officially implemented in both Indonesia and Korea

On January 1, 2023, the Indonesia-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA) was officially implemented as the mark of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Korea.

2023 - Indonesia and Korea signed over 102 MoU for the development of Indonesia’s New Capital Nusantara (IKN)

Political Security

  1. The relationship between the Indonesian military and the Korean military is quite close, as indicated by the training of military personnel at the South Korean Presidential Security Service (PSS) training facility. The exchange of visits by the Defense Military delegation also took place with considerable frequency in discussing cooperation to maintain and improve relations between the two parties.

  2. The communication relationship between the TNI and the South Korean military continues and is quite close, this is marked by the holding of discussion forums in the form of Army to Army Talks , Navy to Navy Talks and Airman to Airman Talks which are forums for conveying the interests of both parties.

  3. Indonesia has and consistently supports the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and simultaneously Renewed interest in security developments in the Indo-Pacific will take center stage

  4. On Military and Defense, Jokowi and Moon "reaffirmed their support for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and further urged North Korea to comply with its obligations under relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

  5. In 2022, under the newly appointed President Yoon-sukyeol, South Korea reaffirmed Indonesia will remain as a strategic partner for South Korea

Economic Field

  1. Since the agreement to increase bilateral relations at the level of “strategic partnership” to “special strategic partnership” in November 2017, the total trade between Korea-Indonesia in 2018 has continued to increase by US$ 18.57 billion or up 12.58% from the previous year.

  2. South Korea is the seventh top export destination and sixth import source for Indonesia. 

  3. South Korea’s investment in 2020 ranks 7th in Indonesia, amounting to $683 million, according to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

  4. In 2021, Korea's leading general glass company KCC Glass established its first overseas glass production plant in Indonesia, amounting 5 Trilliun Rupiah investment for the operation. PT KCC Glass is the largest glass manufacturer in Southeast Asia. 

  5. In 2022, As a prominent figure in electric vehicles, South Korea's Hyundai unveiled the first fully electric, mass-produced car assembled in Indonesia named the IONIQ 5. The company invested $1.55 billion for its production.

Socio-Cultural Field

  1. Meanwhile, Indonesian tourists who visited South Korea in 2018 amounted to 249,067, an increase of 7.9% compared to 2017 which amounted to 230,837 people. The number of South Korean tourists to Indonesia in 2018 amounted to 358,885 people, a decrease of 15.28% compared to the previous year which amounted to 423,191 people. At the crux of the pandemic, in 2021, approximately 9500 South Koreans visited Indonesia.  

  2. Indonesia hosts the 13th largest overseas Korean population With more than 78,000 Koreans living in Indonesia.

  3. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, around 388,300 Koreans visited Indonesia and 175,000 Indonesian visited Korea. According to data as of November 2019, the number of Indonesian students currently studying in the Republic of Korea is 1,500 people. 

  4. On people-to-people exchanges, Indonesia and South Korea agreed to intensify cooperation and promote bilateral tourism by facilitating more direct flights and simplifying visa procedures for Indonesian tourists.

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