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Belt and Road Initiative Contributory to Indonesia’s Economy: Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto stated that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can contribute to Indonesia’s economic development.

“Indonesia needs this cooperation, especially for industrial development, technology development, innovation, and human resource development,” Hartarto remarked here on Thursday.

He explained that Chinese investment in Indonesia continues to increase with each passing year, thereby encouraging the development of industry and special economic zones in the country.

According to Hartarto, China’s investment in Indonesia in the first half of 2023 has exceeded US$3.8 billion.

With such investment growth, he believed that the BRI will continue to encourage the development of industry and special economic zones in North Sumatra, North Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Bali.

Meanwhile, State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir stated that the Indonesia-China Business Forum had resulted in a cooperation agreement worth Rp204 trillion (US$12.8 billion). The agreement covers infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, and tourism.

He noted that Indonesia’s cooperation with China can still reach Rp455 trillion (US$28.7 billion).

“The Belt and Road Initiative Forum between Indonesia and China is a positive forum. In 2013, the investment from China to Indonesia was worth US$280 million, and now, it has reached US$8.6 billion, which is significant,” he highlighted.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) attended and delivered his remarks at the opening of the 3rd Belt and Road Forum (BRF).

In his speech, Jokowi praised the cooperation between Indonesia and China that has been developing, including the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jokowi expressed hope that the cooperation would not be politicized amid the uncertain global condition and should be based on the principle of equal and mutually beneficial partnership.

“Use of a transparent funding system, absorption of local workers, and utilization of domestic products are important aspects in making the BRI project sustainable,” he stated.

He stressed that the cooperation must be long-term and strengthen the partner countries’ economic foundation.