Indonesia sees more infrastructure investment from Singapore

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Jakarta bridge constructionIndonesia welcomes more investments from Singapore in the transport sector to help the vast archipelago’s push to improve its infrastructure, president-elect Joko Widodo said in an interview with the Strait Times this week.

Infrastructure and industrial manufacturing will be key priorities of his administration, he said, and flagged collaboration on urban rail networks, seaports and airports to improve connectivity within and between cities and islands as an area where bilateral cooperation can be enhanced.

“You have experience with the subway, the MRT. And we must start with our railways in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, also Papua, to make our logistics distribution faster and to connect city to city,” he said.

Both sides could also explore working together on industrial parks along the lines of those in Batam and Bintan in areas in eastern Indonesia, where good jobs need to be created, he added.

Economic cooperation has been a key pillar of bilateral ties between both neighbours during president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s 10 years in office, with bilateral trade at $59.9 billion last year. Singapore was the second largest source of foreign investments in Indonesia, totaling $4.67 billion.

Both are also the top source of visitors for each other: Last year, Singapore saw 3.1 million arrivals from Indonesia while there were 1.4 million arrivals to Indonesia from Singapore. Joko wants to raise these numbers, saying he is open to more flights between Singapore and Indonesian cities.

“Indonesia-Singapore relations are strong and important for ASEAN,” he said. “We need to continue to strengthen our bilateral cooperation, bilateral relations.”

Singapore’s ties with Indonesia have been warm and personal relationships between leaders and officials on both sides have seen constant communication and common interests tide over rough patches from time to time.

Amid worries about Indonesians losing out to their neighbours once barriers are lowered as part of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Joko said “there is no doubt the AEC will bring enormous economic benefit to Indonesia”, which has to improve its human capital.

“We need to ensure that our workforce is not only able to compete with our counterparts, but also to contribute to economic integration,” he added.

“But we must also make sure that our infrastructure, our industrial capacity will be ready for the demands of the AEC. So we must push our infrastructure, we must push our industrial estates,” he said.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Indonesia welcomes more investments from Singapore in the transport sector to help the vast archipelago’s push to improve its infrastructure, president-elect Joko Widodo said in an interview with the Strait Times this week.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jakarta bridge constructionIndonesia welcomes more investments from Singapore in the transport sector to help the vast archipelago’s push to improve its infrastructure, president-elect Joko Widodo said in an interview with the Strait Times this week.

Infrastructure and industrial manufacturing will be key priorities of his administration, he said, and flagged collaboration on urban rail networks, seaports and airports to improve connectivity within and between cities and islands as an area where bilateral cooperation can be enhanced.

“You have experience with the subway, the MRT. And we must start with our railways in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, also Papua, to make our logistics distribution faster and to connect city to city,” he said.

Both sides could also explore working together on industrial parks along the lines of those in Batam and Bintan in areas in eastern Indonesia, where good jobs need to be created, he added.

Economic cooperation has been a key pillar of bilateral ties between both neighbours during president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s 10 years in office, with bilateral trade at $59.9 billion last year. Singapore was the second largest source of foreign investments in Indonesia, totaling $4.67 billion.

Both are also the top source of visitors for each other: Last year, Singapore saw 3.1 million arrivals from Indonesia while there were 1.4 million arrivals to Indonesia from Singapore. Joko wants to raise these numbers, saying he is open to more flights between Singapore and Indonesian cities.

“Indonesia-Singapore relations are strong and important for ASEAN,” he said. “We need to continue to strengthen our bilateral cooperation, bilateral relations.”

Singapore’s ties with Indonesia have been warm and personal relationships between leaders and officials on both sides have seen constant communication and common interests tide over rough patches from time to time.

Amid worries about Indonesians losing out to their neighbours once barriers are lowered as part of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Joko said “there is no doubt the AEC will bring enormous economic benefit to Indonesia”, which has to improve its human capital.

“We need to ensure that our workforce is not only able to compete with our counterparts, but also to contribute to economic integration,” he added.

“But we must also make sure that our infrastructure, our industrial capacity will be ready for the demands of the AEC. So we must push our infrastructure, we must push our industrial estates,” he said.

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