Friday, 23rd June 2017

Minister visits China to follow up on bilateral cooperation

16th June 2017 | 5.114 Views
Beijing (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is on a work visit to Beijing on June 15-17 to follow up on the bilateral meetings between Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"I am here to follow up on the bilateral meetings between President Jokowi and President Xi that took place a month ago," Pandjaitan informed ANTARA in Beijing on Thursday.

Indonesia had offered several infrastructure development projects to China during the bilateral meetings between the two presidents on the sidelines of the One Belt, One Road International Cooperation Forum held in Beijing on May 14-15, Pandjaitan stated.

The projects include infrastructure development in several areas: Bitung in North Sulawesi Province, Kuala Tanjung in North Sumatra, North Kalimantan, and Bali.

In addition to infrastructure projects, Indonesia offered projects in the areas of advanced technology, palm oil, and biodiesel.

"I see that President Xi has given an official statement to (in)tensify cooperation with Indonesia," he said.

However, Pandjaitan, who was the former coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs, said Indonesia was relatively late in responding to Chinas aspiration to offer several infrastructure projects in various countries, especially as part of the One Belt, One Road stretching across regions of Europe, Africa, East Asia, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.

"We are too late. Malaysia had first conducted a groundbreaking of a project worth 16 US billion dollars for a rapid train network between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur," he stated.

He considers that Indonesias response was delayed, as the social and political situation in the country is yet unstable.

"We are all fighting against each other in the country. As I post on my Facebook page: stop fighting, now concentrate on developing the country," he reminded.

He expected that the rapid rail project to connect Jakarta and Bandung would soon be completed in a bid to reduce traffic density on the route.

China had earlier invested in the Jakarta-Bandung rapid train project, claimed to be the first of its kind in the Southeast Asian region.

While in Beijing, Pandjaitan will meet several Chinese ministerial-level officials and hold business meetings with local businessmen.

Pandjaitan was accompanied by Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro, Head of the Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong, and many Indonesian businessmen, including several directors of state-owned enterprises.

Indonesian Ambassador to China Soegeng Rahardjo, who also accompanied the ministers, remarked that they are also scheduled to meet the representatives of the China Development Bank and telecommunication companies.(*)