Minister pushes state firms to become Africa's strategic partners

Minister pushes state firms to become Africa's strategic partners

State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno during a visit to Zanzibar. (ANTARA/HO-Kementerian BUMN/ FA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's State Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Rini M. Soemarno has pushed state-owned companies to become strategic partners of African nations.

"We constantly push BUMNs to become strategic partners of countries in Africa. This is in accordance with President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi’s) directive, so BUMNs would become players not only within the country but also overseas," Soemarno noted in a statement here on Thursday.

The minister recently visited Zanzibar and paid a courtesy call on its President Ali Muhammad Shein and held discussions on cooperation between both nations’ state enterprises, as a follow-up of a cooperation agreement reached during the Indonesia Africa Infrastructure Dialog (IAID) 2019 held recently in Bali.

In accordance with the agreement, PT Wijaya Karya Tbk (WIKA) was tasked with building a sea port terminal in Zanzibar worth US$30-40 million.

"Cooperation between Indonesia and Zanzibar is expected to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations," Soemarno noted.

WIKA also bagged a project contract of an integrated business zone in Senegal valued at $250 million and an apartment construction project in Ivory Coast worth $66 million.

Related news: WIKA eyes construction projects in Africa worth over Rp2 trillion

The minister also offered Zanzibar cooperation in various fields: transportation, airport management, energy, pharmaceutical industry, railway infrastructure, seaport, and plantation.

"The president of Zanzibar was immensely pleased over its long-lasting ties with Indonesia, including in the trade of clove and spices with Indonesia. It needs to be enhanced in future. Such potential cooperation will help improve the performance of BUMN," she remarked.

Prior to the Zanzibar visit, the minister paid a visit to Madagascar. She was accompanied by CEOs of five state-owned enterprises, notably tin company PT Timah, railway company PT KAI, PT INKA, PT Wijaya Karya, and PT LEN Industri.

President Andry Rajoelani of Madagascar received the Indonesian delegation. She pushed state enterprises to help build infrastructure in Madagascar.

The IAID was organized in Bali on August 20-21, 2019, as a follow-up of the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) held in 2018, to bolster ties of brotherhood between Indonesia and Africa.

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