South Korea and Indonesia will hold their first round of free trade talks this week as part of an effort to further boost their bilateral trade volume, Seoul's trade ministry said Wednesday. Negotiators from the two countries will meet in Jakarta on Thursday to discuss the scope and coverage of the free trade pact and other issues, according to the ministry. In March, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced the launch of talks on a so-called comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), which is equivalent to a free trade agreement. In 2011, South Korea and Indonesia held three rounds of preliminary talks last year under an agreement to conduct a joint study into the possibility of a bilateral free trade pact, South Korea's news agency (Yonhap) reported. Indonesia is South Korea's eighth-largest trading partner with bilateral trade reaching US$30.7 billion in 2011. South Korea's shipments to Indonesia surged 52.4 percent on-year to $13.56 billion last year, with imports from the Southeast Asian country gaining 23.1 percent to $17.21 billion, according to government data. South Korea has a free trade agreement (FTA) with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that includes Indonesia. But the country has also been seeking bilateral pacts with some ASEAN members to further boost trade with the region.