Finance Minister Lawrence Wong and Indonesian leaders explore new areas of growth

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong meeting Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan on May 18, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

JAKARTA - Singapore's Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday (May 18) met key Indonesian leaders to reaffirm the good relations between the two countries and explore new areas of growth as the region recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He had discussions with Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan and Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno, as well as Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.

In a Facebook post, Mr Wong said Singapore and Indonesia have maintained close ties throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

"We have continued to work together, strengthening our cooperation in the economy and pandemic response. That is part of why our countries are in a stronger position than we were before, as we both reopen and emerge from the pandemic," he said.

Mr Wong said he discussed opportunities to step up mutual cooperation, including on climate change and sustainability, in his meeting with Mr Luhut.

Mr Wong also discussed with Mr Airlangga ways to advance economic cooperation, including in Kendal Industrial Park as well as Batam, Bintan and Karimun, which are part of the Riau Islands, the province closest to Singapore.

Separately, Mr Airlangga wrote on Facebook that he hopes the value of bilateral trade and investment can be increased with the pandemic under control in Indonesia.

"It is undeniable that Indonesia and Singapore are the keys to economic growth in the Asean region," he said.

The ministers also discussed the construction of a port in Kendal, Central Java, Mr Airlangga added.

Meanwhile, Mr Wong and Mr Sandiaga spoke about opportunities to deepen cooperation, while looking forward to exciting partnerships in new areas such as sustainable tourism and creative industry.

Mr Wong then travelled to Semarang in Central Java, where he met Mr Ganjar. They discussed human capital and infrastructure development as well as job creation, among other issues, Mr Wong said.

Mr Ganjar said there was scope for further cooperation, including on the port that will be built, as well as capacity building.

Mr Wong is also scheduled to visit Kendal Industrial Park, a joint project between the two countries that was inaugurated in November 2016 by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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