ASEM-TMM discusses concrete transportation projects

As many as 12 projects were offered to investors during the bilateral meetings with representatives from nine countries, including Japan, China, Poland, Hungary, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, which is hosting the 4th Asia Europe Meeting-Transport Ministers Meeting (ASEM-TMM) in Bali, plans to utilize the forum to concretize its ongoing cooperation projects and to offer new ones to its partner countries in the transportation sector.

As many as 12 projects were offered to investors during the bilateral meetings with representatives from nine countries, including Japan, China, Poland, Hungary, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

On the first .day of the ASEM-TMM forum, Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi was busy holding bilateral meetings with representatives of those countries.

The first bilateral meeting was held with the British Consultants to discuss cooperation of ships guide in the Malacca Strait. The British Consultants welcomed the idea of collaboration in vessel guides with European, Chinese, or Japanese.

"During the first discussion, I proposed to a team from Britain to create a collaboration with ships guide owned by Europe, China, and Japan, and they expressed their ability to do so," he noted.

Indonesia viewed the collaboration with various transportation stakeholders on the ship guide in the Malacca Strait as an initial step to influence and establish good relationships with shipping operators.

Sumadi stated that they have discussed two possible cooperation with the Minister of Maritime, Economic and Interior Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Marek Grobarcyzk. Firstly, cooperation in the maritime sector, which included efforts to modernize the port in Kuala Tanjung, North Sumatra. Secondly, the offer of cooperation in the bus building industry, which included production and distribution to nearby countries.

"We are talking about Indonesias possibilities to become a bus-based industry so that it can be distributed to nearby countries. For this, there are special requirements that we give to Poland, in order to make Indonesia the center of its bus industry in Southeast Asia," he remarked.

The other bilateral meeting was held by the minister with the Polish aviation operators, namely LOT Polish Airlines.

Indonesia plans to increase investment in the operation of the Bali - Poland aircraft charter that has been done by the airlines.

Deputy Transport Minister of Latvia Kaspars Ozolins agreed with Sumadi to discuss connectivity between Asia and Europe.

Among projects discussed in the fourth ASEM-TMM forum were Makassar New Port in South Sulawesi, Product Terminal 1 and 2 Kalibaru Port in North Jakarta, Kijing Port, Sorong Port in West Papua, Cikarang-Bekasi-Sea Canal, Tanjung Carat Port, Kualanamu Airport, Lombok International Airport, Makassar-Pare-pare Railway, Bandung Light Rapid Transit (LRT), and Surabaya tramline.

Sumadi and Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transportation, and Tourism Minister Takao Makino also discussed on Wednesday some running transportation projects and other planned project.

These projects included the ongoing Patimban Port project in Subang (West Java), Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) in Jakarta, Light Rapid Transit (LRT) in Jakarta, and Jakarta-Surabaya Semi High-Speed Train.

"We have held intensive talks with Japan to discuss the three projects, namely MRT, Jakarta-Surabaya railway lines, and Patimban port. Japan has agreed that all projects will run as scheduled. The MRT system will began operating in March 2019 and Patimban port will become operational according to the plan. The problems have been solved," Sumadi noted.

According to the minister, Japan had also agreed to Indonesias proposal to use the existing railway tracks to operate the Jakarta-Surabaya semi high-speed railway lines.

For its part, the Transportation Ministry will solve all problems related to level crossings, and the semi high-speed railway lines will become operational as of 2020, he remarked.

Sumadi expressed hope that the construction of Patimban port would be completed earlier than schedule. Patimban port, which is estimated to cost Rp43 trillion, is expected to be operational by 2019. The loans to develop the port will be disbursed in Oct.

"The project will be put out for tender in Dec (2017) or Jan 2018," the minister added.

The minister would discuss training program for Indonesian sailors and the Roro (roll-on-roll-off) route from Bitung, Indonesia to Davao in the Philippines, during the meeting with the Philippines.

"As we know, the Philippines sailors are very good in quality. It would be good for Indonesian sailors to get the training from the country. While for Bitung-Davao Roro route, we will synchronize our perception, so that it could have a scheduled passage," he elaborated.

Indonesia would also discuss with China the progress of infrastructure projects under One Belt One Road (OBOR), which includes infrastructure projects in North Sumatra, Kalimantan, and North Sulawesi.

Other issues that would be discussed in the bilateral meetings are Intelligent Transport System with South Korea, Non-Convention Vessel Standard (NCVS) with Malaysia, sea and air transportation cooperation with Singapore, and strategic transportation projects with Hungary and Poland.

The fourth ASEM-TMM forum, which is being held in Denpasar, the capital of the Indonesian tourist resort province of Bali, will last until Sept 28, 2017.(*)

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