This aerial photo taken on July 20, 2023 shows Tegalluar Station of Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway and nearby scenery in Bandung, West Java Province, Indonesia. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
JAKARTA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) and future transit-oriented development will bring new economic growth and job opportunities to West Java and its people, said the governor of the province.
Ridwan Kamil, chief of the Indonesian province located in the west of the Java island, told Xinhua in a recent interview that with the travel time between national capital Jakarta and provincial capital Bandung to be cut to 40 minutes from over three hours, the possibility will increase of more people moving to Bandung to live and work.
The high-speed rail is a flagship project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), spanning 142.3 km with a design speed of 350 km per hour.
"We are designing a master plan for a new city with more buildings around the high-speed railway stations," said Kamil. "With new infrastructure facilities being built and more investments coming, at the end of the day, you will see an increase of job opportunities for your children, the young generation of West Java people."
Kamil had been an architect and lived in China for three years, where he had made high-speed train trips. He said his experience could bear witness to the smoothness of high-speed train travel for the West Java people.
He believes that Bandung will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the high-speed rail as improved transportation conditions will surely attract more tourists and tourism-related businesses.
Based on previous experiences, Kamil said, with the improvement of transportation infrastructure, the employment rate in more remote areas will increase. People who used to be domestic workers or farmers can possibly shift to the local services industry, thereby improving their living standards with higher incomes, according to him.
"We'll create new tourism businesses and jobs for ordinary people, as a result of more tourists coming to see West Java's volcanoes and waterfalls, and spending money there," the governor said.
According to him, China has already been the major source of investment for West Java. On this basis, the high-speed rail will further enhance the investor confidence, especially in the high-tech and manufacturing industries, thus effectively stimulating the local economic growth, he noted.
Kamil appreciates the special feelings the Chinese people hold towards Bandung over the 1955 Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, which has left the world a rich legacy including the spirit of unity, friendship and cooperation.
"Sixty-eight years later, we've built the high-speed railway project with China, the same country with which we fought for anti-colonialism and independence together at that time," said Kamil, adding that the spirit of Bandung is still alive today with new themes. "Now we fight poverty and injustice together."
"This HSR project symbolizes that the two nations have good communication, which has been translated into businesses that benefit both," he said. ■
This photo taken on Aug. 7, 2023 shows the scenery near the office building of West Java Provincial Government in Bandung, West Java Province, Indonesia. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
Ridwan Kamil, chief of West Java Province, receives an interview with Xinhua in Bandung, Indonesia, Aug. 7, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
This aerial photo taken on July 20, 2023 shows high-speed railway trains parking near the joint workshop for Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway in Bandung, West Java Province, Indonesia.(Xinhua/Xu Qin)