South Korea and Indonesia have agreed to make efforts to declare the launch of their free trade deal in November, Seoul's trade ministry said Monday.
The two countries held the first round of feasibility study talks on their so-called comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), similar to a free trade deal, in Jakarta last week.
In 2007, a free trade agreement between South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Indonesia, went into effect.
But Seoul has been seeking to forge higher-level separate free trade deals with Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries.
The ministry said both countries will hold two more rounds of feasibility study talks.
Bilateral trade reached US$22.9 billion last year with South Korea's exports to Indonesia amounting to $8.9 billion, according to the ministry.
South Korea, whose economy heavily depends on trade, has been aggressive in forging trade pacts with other nations, highlighted by the sealing of a free trade accord with the European Union (EU) in October last year.
The free trade pact with the EU came into effect on July 1 after South Korea's National Assembly ratified the deal in May. The European Parliament passed the accord in February.