"They should grow strong together to compete not only domestically, but internationally as well," Rini said in an interview with one of the national television media channels in Jakarta on Monday.
Admitting that many SOEs preferred to go it alone because they did not know each other, Rini said, "The main problem is that SOEs are still on their own; even in many sectors, they compete with each other."
She cited the example of the competitive atmosphere seen in four state-owned banks, namely Bank Mandiri, BRI, BNI and BTN, which sometimes still fought over customers and third party funds.
"The directors do not talk to each other because they compete with each other for deposits, or borrow from debtors," she said.
Stating that she strove to harmonize the atmosphere between SOEs by holding a meeting on board the PELNI ship from Jakarta to Semarang, she said, "I invited them to take a boat ride on the PELNI Jakarta-Semarang; we met all day, got to know each other, and chatted."