Czech Republic eyes railroad projects in Indonesia

Czech Republic eyes railroad projects in Indonesia

A railway in Indonesia. (ANTARA FOTO/Galih Pradipta/foc)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Czech Republic has high technology and expertise in the construction of railway project, while Indonesia is now intensifying its infrastructure development, including railroads.

Hence, the Czech Republic during the visit of Czech Republic Parliament Senate President Milan Stech, is exploring the possibility of cooperation in the development of railway projects in Indonesia.

According to Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, the Czech Republic and Indonesia can cooperate not only in the railway project but also in other sectors. Therefore, both sides need to establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) to expand cooperation between the two countries.

"Some of our manufacturing products have the potential to penetrate the Czech market, including textiles and clothing, footwear, wooden-based furniture, as well as pulp and paper," he stated.

But more importantly, according to Hartarto, the Czech Republic has a rubber processing industry that is quite competitive, such as tire factories. Indonesia has a railroad industry that has been able to produce various components and railway infrastructure, for instance, rolling stock, rail tracks, and signaling systems.

This has become a collaborative opportunity for both countries for technology transfer.

"Indonesia can be used as a hub for the development of a railroad industry. Several countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, have ordered and imported trains from Indonesia," he explained.

In the meantime, the Czech Republic has set sights on railway projects cooperation in Indonesia, especially in Yogyakarta.

The Government of the Czech Republic is exploring cooperation with the Yogyakarta Special Region Government in the construction of a railroad that would connect the New Yogyakarta International Airport (NYIA) Airport in Kulon Progo.

For this purpose, Czech Republic Parliament Senate President Milan Stech, the Czech Republic`s Ambassador to Indonesia Ivan Hotec, and a number of Czech delegates met with Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X in Gedong Pracimosono, Kepatihan Office Complex, Yogyakarta, on Wednesday.

"This offers opportunities for cooperation, such as the Czech Republic with Indonesia`s state-owned railway firm PT KAI to build railroads from the NYIA airport to Tugu Station or from Yogyakarta to Borobudur," Buwono stated after meeting the delegates from the Czech Republic.

After the meeting with the governor, a number of Czech Republic`s business delegates, who were members of the Czech Chamber of Commerce and Czech Banking representatives, followed up the results of the meeting with the Yogyakarta governor. They held a meeting with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), PT Kerera Api Indonesia (KAI), and state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura (AP) 1.

Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry GKR Mangkubumi remarked that in the meeting there were three priorities on which both sides could cooperate. In addition to the NYIA Airport Train project, there is also a plan for the construction of Tanjung Adikarto Port, the development of Sardjito General Hospital management, and the construction of a hospital in the new airport area.

"Regarding cooperation in train projects, the Czech Republic does have a good train factory. PT KAI will, of course, know the kind of cooperation that can be carried out," a daughter of Buwono revealed.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Czech Chamber of Commerce, Michal Srefl, explained that he wanted to contribute to a number of major projects in Yogyakarta. He claimed that the Czech Republic had a number of factories that were adequate to meet infrastructure-related needs.

Srefl mentioned the railway project which connects the NYIA Airport. He added that his side can supply various needs, such as train electrification and the design of railroad construction, at competitive prices.

"Although the Czech Republic belongs to Eastern Europe, we can compete with regard to prices. The price can be cheaper," Srefl asserted.

Regional Secretary Assistant of the Yogyakarta Regional Government for Economic and Development, Budi Wibowo noted that the Czech Republic is known to have sufficient advanced capabilities in the railroad industry, including rolling stock industry.

"As a trial, it can be the construction of a railway line from the new airport in Kulon Progo to Yogyakarta Tugu Station," he added.

Construction of the railway line from Yogyakarta to the new airport, according to him, is very vital. In addition to facilitating passenger mobility, the route will also be used to transport iron sand produced by PT JMI in Kulon Progo.

According to Wibowo, in the near future, the Czech Republic will immediately send experts to carry out a field check. "We hope that the new airport train line will be realized soon," he revealed.

PT KAI`s Deputy Executive Vice President for Operation Area VI , Nathan M. Siahaan stressed that the company was still in a position to listen to the various products offered by the Czech Government. "We will see what can be involved in the train project," he pointed out.

editing by Suharto