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A Look Back on 50 years of ROK-Indonesia Partnership and its Future
Published December 6, 2023
Publication Source: KIEP
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South Korea (hereafter Korea) and Indonesia are commemorating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2023. Since establishing a strategic partnership in 2006, the two nations have cultivated strong bonds based on mutual trust and respect. Recognizing the deepening common interests and shared strategic values, Korea and Indonesia upgraded their bilateral relations to a “special strategic partnership” in 2017. This move is particularly significant against the backdrop of heightened strategic competition between the U.S. and China, where Indonesia has emerged as a key partner for Korea to diversify its economic and diplomatic engagements.
The challenges posed by the Russia-Ukraine war, coupled with disruptions in the global supply chain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, have further underscored Indonesia’s importance as a critical collaborator for Korea in supply chain cooperation. From Indonesia’s perspective, Korea is a major economy that can contribute to the modernization of its manufacturing sector, the relocation of its capital city, and the growth of its defense industry. Notably, as middle powers in the Indo-Pacific region, the two countries share a common goal of fostering an inclusive regional order amid the escalating rivalry be-tween China and the U.S.
In light of these dynamics, this paper assesses the progress of Korea-Indonesia relations to date and delves into the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in enhancing bilateral cooperation.

This paper was published by KIEP. KIEP retains the copyright to this paper and invites readers to share and cite the work with attribution to both the author(s) and KIEP.