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Indonesia celebrates fruitful outcomes

By WANG QINGYUN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-26 07:28
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The success of the Belt and Road Initiative, joined by more than 150 countries, lies in "mutual benefits", Indonesia's Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun said, pointing out that Jakarta has gained "fruitful outcomes" from such cooperation with Beijing.

The initiative has facilitated the development of participating countries, which in turn contributes to global economy's resilience and growth, he said in a recent interview with China Daily.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the BRI, which consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

In October 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the idea of building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road during his visit to Indonesia, less than a month after he visited Kazakhstan, and called for joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

In 2018, Indonesia stepped up its participation in BRI cooperation by signing with China a memorandum of understanding on jointly constructing the BRI and the Southeast Asian country's Global Maritime Fulcrum strategy. The memorandum was renewed in July last year.

The synergy between the BRI and the GMF has resulted in concrete cooperation in various fields, Djauhari said. For example, Chinese companies have taken part in the construction of Indonesia's economic corridors in North Sumatra, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi and Bali, he added.

Another example is the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, a cooperation project between China and Indonesia, and also the first high-speed railway in Southeast Asia.

The railway was built according to Chinese standards and uses Chinese technologies. It is expected to start commercial operations soon, and cut the travel time between Jakarta and Bandung from more than three hours to 40 minutes.

The operation of the railway will improve connectivity and further boost economic growth in Java Island, Djauhari said.

Trustworthy collaboration

"The main message here is that Indonesia and China collaboration for the high-speed railway is reliable and trustworthy," he said, adding that bilateral cooperation over the railway may "become a model of China's cooperation with other countries and set a good precedence for others to follow".

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will "hopefully" attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in China next month, the ambassador said.

Frequent high-level exchanges between China and Indonesia over the years have proved the strength of bilateral ties, he said, adding that his country hopes to see bilateral cooperation enhance in sectors such as renewable energy, digital transformation and health.

China is the largest trade partner of Indonesia, and Indonesia is China's third-largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The value of bilateral trade hit $149.1 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 19.8 percent.

China is also one of the major sources of tourists to Indonesia and the second-largest destination for Indonesian students to study abroad.

Djauhari said he hopes to see trade between the two countries continue to increase, and bilateral people-to-people exchanges get more vigorous.

There is still room for cooperation for bilateral relations, he said.

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