Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has sought support from the South Korean government in negotiations with the United States to open the market for Korean-made electric vehicles (EVs) produced in Indonesia.

"I am hoping for help from Korea in talking to the US to ensure the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) provides market access for products resulting from the collaboration between LG and Hyundai (in Indonesia)," he said in a statement released by his ministry on Thursday.

Hartarto met with the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy of South Korea, Ahn Duk-geun, in Seoul on Wednesday.

South Korean companies Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution have invested in Indonesia and are currently building an EV battery factory in Karawang, West Java.

Besides Hyundai and LG's investment, there are several other collaborations between Indonesia and South Korea that are already running, such as the expansion of the Lotte petrochemical factory and the construction of the Krakatau Steel-Posco steel cluster, Hartarto noted.

However, there are several cooperation agreements whose implementation still needs to be pushed, Hartarto said.

They include expanding market access for Indonesian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through South Korean e-platforms, implementing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), producing hydrogen and ammonia energy, and building hydropower plants.

Hartarto expressed hope that Minister Ahn would help strengthen industrial, trade, and energy transition cooperation between the two countries.

He also invited Ahn to the 3rd Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) meeting in Jakarta in July 2024.

Meanwhile, Ahn outlined opportunities for cooperation related to the development of nuclear power plants through the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI).

The institution has developed the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology, which is designed to be safe and produce a lower carbon footprint than conventional reactors. SMR can serve as an alternative solution for supplying electrical energy, especially in remote or isolated areas.

The trade relations between Indonesia and South Korea are entering the fifth decade. Data from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs showed that the total bilateral trade between the two countries reached US$20.8 billion in 2023.

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Translator: Uyu Septiyati, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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