SEOUL, South Korea and Indonesia have agreed to reinforce cooperation in various areas ranging from advanced technologies, infrastructure and energy to cosmetics to promote trade and new investment opportunities between the two nations, Seoul's trade ministry said Monday.

About 400 business leaders and government officials gathered for a business and investment forum jointly hosted by five Korean business organizations and attended by visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Park Yong-man, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said he hopes the forum could pave the way for Korean companies' participation in innovative projects in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Indonesian government in April launched an economic road map called Making Indonesia 4.0, which calls for major innovations related to the fourth industrial revolution in manufacturing and advanced technologies.

"The Indonesian government's road map includes comprehensive plans for development of high-tech industries, including digital technology, bio and hardware automation," Park said in an opening speech. "As Korean companies have keen interest and advanced expertise in these areas, I hope the two nations can step up collaboration in the future."

Paik Un-gyu, South Korean minister of trade, industry and trade, also suggested the two nations expand cooperation beyond the steel and petrochemical sectors and into auto, engineering, infrastructure and cosmetics.

A total of 15 memoranda of understanding (MOU) were signed between companies and institutions of the two nations, which call for cooperation in areas including energy, auto, infrastructure, engineering, technology and cosmetics, the ministry said.

Seoul has been seeking to cement economic relations with Southeast Asian nations under its so-called New Southern Policy, which aims to tap deeper into the fast-rising economic bloc and diversify the export market.

Source: Yonhap News Agency