Collaboration between Indonesia and China receives high praise from experts-Xinhua

Collaboration between Indonesia and China receives high praise from experts

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-02 19:15:00

JAKARTA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia aims to achieve its "Golden Indonesia 2045 Vision," which involves becoming an advanced and sustainable nation by 2045. Experts have praised China's role in helping Indonesia accomplish its vision, with cooperation between the two countries flourishing.

For the past decade, Indonesia and China have conducted productive cooperation in a wide range of fields. China has been Indonesia's top trading partner for 10 years and a major source of investment in the country.

The China-Indonesia bilateral relationship has never been stronger. China is not only Indonesia's largest trading partner but also one of the biggest contributors of foreign direct investment, said Destry Damayanti, senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia.

Barra Kukuh Mamia, a senior macroeconomist at PT Bank Central Asia, said that Chinese investment has provided Indonesia with opportunities for rapid growth. China has become a catalyst for Indonesia's economic development over the last decade.

"For example, Indonesia's economic growth slightly slowed down in 2023 compared to the year before due to the decline in commodity prices, but in terms of import and export trade volume, it was actually growing, all thanks to China," he said.

The cooperation between Indonesia and China is evident in other fields, such as infrastructure.

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, the flagship project co-constructed by China and Indonesia under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has become a new favorite means of transportation for many locals.

With a design speed of 350 km per hour, the high-speed train cuts the travel time from Jakarta to Bandung in West Java province from over three hours to around 40 minutes, profoundly changing the lives of people living along the line.

Septian Hario Seto, deputy minister of Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, said the railway has revolutionized travel between Jakarta and Bandung, shifting it from highway-based to rail-based.

"I am confident that in the future, our mobility pattern will evolve from individual transport to a more mass transport-oriented approach. That's why we are eager to extend our cooperation with China," Seto said.

Veronika Saraswati, China expert and researcher at Indonesia's leading think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Indonesia is one of the BRI's biggest beneficiaries.

She said infrastructure projects carried out by Indonesian and Chinese companies under the BRI will transform Indonesia's traditional industries and increase national and local fiscal revenues.

Saraswati said that, unlike Western countries, which treat others as competitors, China actively develops collaborative partnerships and mutual trust with countries along the Silk Road through the BRI.

Looking to the future, Indonesian society has more expectations for mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

"In the future, we need to make our cooperation more beneficial for both of us. We need a more next-level relationship where we not only focus on production, business and trade but also on people-to-people collaboration, R&D and perhaps a transfer of technology and knowledge," said Teguh Dartanto, dean of the School of Economics at the University of Indonesia.

"China is developing rapidly in green industries represented by electric vehicles," said Christine Susanna Tjhin, director of Strategic Communication and Research at Gentala Institute. "Indonesia is pushing for the development of EV and battery production facilities to create a downstream industry for the country's rich supplies of nickel. I hope that our two countries can further deepen cooperation in this regard."