Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan and representatives of the Chinese government signed an agreement on an infrastructure projects under the BRI scheme in Bali, on Thursday (03/21). Photo by The Ministry.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia and China will execute an investment plan worth US$91.1 billion for 28 national projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), followed the first meeting of the Joint Steering Committee for the Construction of Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridors for Cooperation between the country in Bali last week, said senior minister.

According to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan, the two countries have discussed related plans for the execution of dozens of approved projects and project preparation processes which include the planning, supervision and evaluation phases.

“In an effort to improve the welfare of the Indonesian people, we believe that the provision of jobs and education are two basic things we must do. So we strongly encourage large-scale industrial development investment, considering we have to provide employment for tens of millions of Indonesia’s young generation,” he said in a written statement

In addition to 28 projects, he said Indonesia-China business cooperation would also conduct a feasibility study for seven other projects worth $8.7 million in Central Java. Basically, Panjaitan stressed, the two countries continued to negotiate related to technical issues in the collaboration.

He mentioned, one example of a role model is Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park in Central Sulawesi. This industrial activity has provided employment to close to 40,000 people, and will increase to 100,000 people. In addition, this industry has increased economic growth, both in regions and nationally.

Panjaitan welcomed with the plans of several Chinese business entities, such as Ningbo Port and Power China, accompanied by Zhejiang Province’ NDRC and MOFCOM, that had visited North Sumatra and North Kalimantan, and had met with PT Pelabuhan Indonesia I and several business actors as a business to business (B-to-B) model approach.

On that occasion, he revealed several Chinese project designs in the form of Framework Agreement such as in Kuala Tanjung, Sei Mangkei Industrial Zone and the second phase of strategic cooperation in Kualanamu International Airport.

In addition, there are clean energy development projects in the Sungai Kayan area, in North Kalimantan, the development of exclusive economic areas in Bitung, in South Sulawesi, and Kura-Kura Island in Bali.

The minister explained, in addition to the four projects, there were also other cooperation projects, such as Middle Size Power Plants in several locations in Java, Minemouth in Central Kalimantan, Special Economic Zone in Jonggol, West Java, Integrated Industrial Zone in Ketapang, replanting oil palm to reduce poverty, and Meikarta Integrated Industrial Area, in Bekasi, West Java.

“We hope that the Chinese continuing to invest in other locations that we have prepared, including project plans outside the four corridors that have been initiated by business people from the two parties, including cooperation in the fields “Palm Replanting for Poverty Reduction involves the China Development Bank,” he said.

Panjaitan hopes that the agreements reached can be finalized into solid cooperation that will be implemented in the near future. Earlier, Chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong said that the four locations in the areas of North Sumatra, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi and Bali.

According to him, besides being chosen because they all sat on the outskirts of the archipelago, the location of the project coincided with President Joko Widodo’s ambition to build a country from outside the region. In addition, he added, the locations also had their own advantages which could attract Chinese investors to the area.

“North Kalimantan can be an ideal location to be relocated to Chinese smelters,” he said in Jakarta, on March 20.

As known, BRI was inaugurated in September 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, to rebuild and expand the old Silk Road in the name of increasing international trade, development and cooperation. This initiative involves the development of infrastructure and investment in at least 152 countries.

Written by Daniel Deha, Email: daniel@theinsiderstories.com

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