Indonesia offers transportation infrastructure projects to Australia

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - Indonesias Transportation Ministry has offered investment in some transportation infrastructure projects to Australia as part of the bilateral cooperation under the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package that has been running since a decade.

"We will renew the memorandum of understanding, not only for developing sea and air transportation but other infrastructure will also be a priority," the ministrys secretary general Sugihardjo informed reporters on the sidelines of a forum on Indonesia-Australia transportation here on Thursday.

The investment will cover infrastructure projects to develop ports, airports, and railway networks under the government-private cooperation scheme (KPS).

Currently, Sugihardjo said, the two countries cooperation has solely focused on transportation safety, especially for developing the capacity of human resources.

"Now, we will not only improve safety and security but also focus on the railway sector. We will work on coordination with the Asian Development Bank to prepare a feasible project proposal, which is attractive for the investor," he revealed.

During the meeting, Indonesia and Australia have agreed on six crucial points including a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in the transportation sector that would be signed in October or November.

The two countries also discussed the potential of investing in transportation infrastructure, such as ports, airports, and railways under the KPS scheme; increasing transportation connectivity to prioritize development in the rural and border areas; and encouraging state-run firms and the private sector to play an active role in implementing bilateral cooperation to boost both countries economy, trade, and tourism, as the final goal of the cooperation.

Meanwhile, Shane Carmody, the deputy secretary of Australias department of infrastructure and regional development, remarked that both countries will expand cooperation to improve the capacity of human resources.

Since 2007, Australia has invested in 100 projects in land, air, and sea transportation security; search and rescue; as well as training for more than 10 thousand human resources in the transportation sector.

In 2016, the number of Australian tourists visiting Indonesia had reached 1.2 million, of which some 1.1 million had travelled to Bali.

Moreover, as many as 200 thousand Indonesian tourists had visited Australia in 2016.

Director General of Air Transportation Agus Santoso said the airports of Komodo, Lombok, and North Bali have the potential to be included in the bilateral cooperation to boost the tourism sector.

The meeting was part of an annual agenda between Indonesia and Australia to follow up on the previous meeting held in Sydney, Australia. (*)

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