Gan Kim Yong visits Batam and Bintan to strengthen bilateral relations

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong visited Batam and Bintan on Thursday and Friday. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE

SINGAPORE - Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong's visit to the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan on Thursday and Friday included stops at industrial estates where Singapore firms have operations.

In his trip to strengthen relations between the two nations, he also met the governor of the Riau Islands, Mr Ansar Ahmad, and Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi.

In his stopover at several industrial estates, including the Kabil Integrated Industrial Estate in Batam and Bintan Industrial Estate, Mr Gan met business representatives from sectors such as manufacturing, construction and digital services.

Some Singapore companies with a presence in these industrial estates include Sembcorp Marine and Esco, which makes medical equipment.

In these meetings, Mr Gan discussed the impact of Covid-19 on the Indonesian economy and Singapore businesses there, and noted that Singaporean companies continue to do well despite the challenges.

In 2021, Indonesia was the Republic's sixth-largest trading partner, with bilateral merchandise trade reaching $59.1 billion, a 21 per cent increase from 2020.

Singapore has also consistently been Indonesia's top source of foreign direct investment since 2014.

Mr Gan said: "Singapore, Bintan and Batam are close neighbours that share geographical proximity and strong connectivity. This has paved the way for excellent economic linkages in our region, as demonstrated by the trusted partnerships and vibrant economic cooperation between our people and businesses."

He added that Singapore companies have also established a presence in Bintan and/or Batam, and continue to show a keen interest in exploring opportunities in the region.

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