JAKARTA • The inauguration of an industrial estate in Central Java will be one of the highlights of an Indonesia-Singapore leaders' retreat next week, The Jakarta Post reported yesterday.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, several Singapore ministers and chief executive officers from Singapore's 14 top companies plan to visit the Kendal Industrial Park during a retreat in the port city of Semarang from next Wednesday to Friday.
The Indonesian Foreign Ministry's East Asia and Pacific director Edi Yusup said PM Lee and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will attend a ceremony to inaugurate the industrial estate.
"It's a vast area of 2,200ha, but 1,000ha have already been developed," said Mr Edi, adding that the industries targeted to operate in the park included furniture, garment and automotive industries.
The estate is a joint venture between Indonesian property developer PT Jababeka, which holds a 51 per cent stake, and Singapore's Sembcorp.
Mr Edi said that so far, 16 companies from Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, China and Japan had expressed interest in doing business there, with an expected total investment of around 3.2 trillion rupiah (S$327 million).
We hope the 14 CEOs from Singapore will be interested in investing in the industrial estate and also in other parts of the country.
MR EDI YUSUP, Indonesian Foreign Ministry's East Asia and Pacific director.
"We hope the 14 CEOs from Singapore will be interested in investing in the industrial estate and also in other parts of the country," Mr Edi told a press briefing, adding that the park's development is expected to trigger economic growth in Central Java.
During the retreat, the leaders of Indonesia and Singapore will discuss various bilateral, regional and global issues that are of mutual concern to the two countries.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the transboundary haze pollution issue "might or might not be raised. We cannot predict what our leaders might say. It's up to them at the meeting".
He did, however, emphasise that Indonesia has repeatedly proved its commitment to mitigating forest and land fires and its adverse effect on the environment and on neighbouring countries.
"Among the steps we've taken are water-bombing runs, weather modification, integrated patrols, awareness-raising campaigns and canal digging. All of them underscore Indonesia's commitment to overcoming the (fire and haze pollution) issue," he asserted.
Mr Arrmanatha added that concrete steps have been taken to penalise errant companies connected to the fires.
He said such efforts have significantly reduced the number of hot spots in Indonesia, which dropped by 74 per cent from January to August this year, compared with the same period last year.