Jakarta (ANTARA) - Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita met with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Ken Saito in Tokyo later this week to discuss the potential to increase cooperation in the manufacturing industry, especially automotive.

According to the Industry Ministry in its press release on Sunday, Kartasasmita expressed his appreciation to Japanese automotive companies for continuing to carry out their activities positively, including deepening their involvement in Indonesia's automotive production ecosystem by incorporating small and medium industries.

Considering the positive conditions, he encouraged increased cooperation with Japan to participate in developing the electric vehicle ecosystem in Indonesia.

The minister also highlighted the great opportunity for the Japanese automotive industry to participate in filling the per capita consumption gap for automotive products in Indonesia.

"Currently, the car ownership ratio in Indonesia is 99 cars per 1,000 population. I believe in the near future, it can be pushed to reach 150 cars per 1,000 (population)," he said.

In addition to cooperation in the automotive industry, Kartasasmita also encouraged increased cooperation in energy transition, following a meeting between President Joko Widodo and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss priority projects in energy transition in Japan in December 2023.

He also encouraged the finalization of the Protocol Amending the Indonesia–Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA), as the two countries have already completed substantive negotiations on the protocol within the IJEPA framework.

According to him, IJEPA has a crucial and strategic role for both countries. This also applies to the New MIDEC (Manufacturing Industry Development Center) collaboration program, which is part of IJEPA.

For that reason, the minister hoped for support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy and Trade, and Industry to encourage the implementation of IJEPA and the implementation of New MIDEC activities in the future.

During their meeting last Friday (June 21st), the two ministers also discussed cooperation in industrial human resources development.

Kartasasmita also highlighted the plan for an industrial human resources exchange program between Indonesia and Japan, allowing Indonesian workers to participate in specialized training programs in Japan and acquire advanced knowledge and skills.

Minister Saito welcomed the ideas to increase cooperation between the two countries, which were conveyed by Minister Kartasasmita.

He stated that his ministry pays great attention by providing some budgets to encourage cooperation with Global South countries.

Regarding automotive industry cooperation with Indonesia, he acknowledged that Indonesia is an important base for Japanese automotive production and exports. Investment by Japanese automotive companies in Indonesia provides benefits for both countries, he said.

The two ministers are scheduled to meet again in August to discuss cooperation in the two countries' industrial sectors.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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