Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan affirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic had driven the country towards multisectoral reforms despite the wide-ranging impacts of the crisis.

"Although the COVID-19 pandemic is too painful for many people, this has, in fact, given us a blessing by pushing the country towards reforms," Pandjaitan told Australian representatives and investors here on Friday.

The reforms covered various sectors, including health and energy, he pointed out.

Speaking in connection with the health sector, the minister noted that the pandemic had encouraged the country to become self-reliant in the pharmaceutical industry.

"I think that in the wake of this COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that the vaccination would be available by this year-end, so Indonesia will have a better future," he remarked.

Pandjaitan and Andrew Forrest, founder of Australian iron ore firm Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), inked a cooperation agreement for the development of renewable energy to support the green industry.

The company will invest in the development of a 60-GW hydroelectric power plant and 25-GW geothermal power plant in Indonesia.

The minister has called on Australian investors to materialize their investment in the country.

Pandjaitan opined that taking into account the mineral and renewable energy potential of Indonesia and Australia, the duo can collaborate and become key players in the green and renewable energy industry in the global arena.

The agreement promotes sustainable development that is an amalgamation of economic development, social progress, and environmental protection, he stated.

"This agreement also strengthens President Joko Widodo's policy of bringing together economic recovery measures as the main ingredient in our fight against the pandemic," he affirmed.

Furthermore, on the occasion, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed on the reduction of plastic waste in the Indonesian waters.

The ministry's Deputy for Coordination of Environment and Forestry Management, Nani Hendiarti, and Forrest inked the LoI. Related news: Around 4.5 million MSME traders using QRIS: BI
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Translator: Ade Irma Junida, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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