JAKARTA • Indonesia's Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said yesterday that he has encouraged Singapore to develop three industrial estates in the country.
Speaking in Jakarta, Mr Airlangga said the estates being offered for development were Tanah Kuning Industrial Estate in North Kalimantan, Kuala Tanjung Industrial Estate in North Sumatra and Bitung Industrial Estate in North Sulawesi.
He said the concept for the estates was similar to the development of other industrial estates in the country, such as Kendal Industrial Park in Central Java, the Kompas news website reported.
"Singapore is a neighbouring country that has a strategic role in the interests of Indonesia and the region," Mr Airlangga said.
He raised the issue when he met Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in Jakarta last week to discuss cooperation in various sectors. Dr Balakrishnan, who was on a two-day visit, also met other officials, including his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan.
Dr Balakrishnan said negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty between Indonesia and Singapore would begin later this month, while talks on a double taxation agreement were set to start soon. Both countries are also cooperating in improving the quality of vocational education in Indonesia.
Singapore, Mr Airlangga noted, had a role in developing a furniture and wood processing industry polytechnic at Kendal Industrial Park that is slated to start operating this year with an inaugural class of 96 students.
Singapore is a neighbouring country that has a strategic role in the interests of Indonesia and the region.
INDONESIAN INDUSTRY MINISTER AIRLANGGA HARTARTO
The polytechnic, in the 2,700ha park that is being developed by Singapore's Sembcorp Development and Indonesia's industrial estate developer PT Jababeka, was first announced at the Leaders' Retreat between President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore last September.
Last week, Dr Balakrishnan and Ms Retno said four more tenants had signed up to operate in the park, bringing to 36 the total number of firms in the park, which would generate about 5,000 jobs.
Mr Airlangga added that 25 principals of vocational senior high schools across Indonesia were also taking part in a leadership training programme at Singapore's Institute of Technical Education from yesterday until March 3.
Singapore was the largest contributor of foreign investment in Indonesia last year, investing US$8.4 billion (S$11 billion), or 26.2 per cent of total foreign investment in Indonesia. The Republic was followed by Japan with US$5 billion and China with US$3.4 billion.
THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK