Indonesia’s G20 Presidency this year was used by the government to invite developed countries to collaborate and strengthen cooperation in investment in the economy, especially for the development of transportation infrastructure in Indonesia.
The G20 Summit successfully showcased Indonesia’s commitment to the transition from fossil energy to renewable energy, particularly through the use of hundreds of electric vehicles for the heads of state and delegates attending the event.
United States President Joe Biden earlier emphasized his nation’s commitment to investing in Indonesia. This time, the commitment covers transportation development and is valued at almost US$700 million or around Rp10.8 trillion.
Japan and the United Kingdom have also expressed their interest in participating in the development of the Jakarta MRT (Mass Rapid Transit).
Further, Indonesia and South Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Phase 4 development of the MRT, specifically the Fatmawati-Kampung Rambutan route.
The MoU has been signed as a follow-up to the discussion at the 28th ASEAN Transportation Ministers’ Meeting in Bali on October 16–17.
During a bilateral meeting with representatives from the South Korean government, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said that Indonesia and South Korea have a close relationship.
The two countries have intensively opened various cooperation opportunities, including in the transportation sector.
“I made a working visit to South Korea in June 2022 to open opportunities for cooperation with the South Korean government. I express my appreciation to South Korea. Finally, the two countries have reached a mutual understanding with the signing of the MoU,” the minister said.
The MoU with South Korea is expected to become an initial step in the acceleration of Jakarta MRT’s development, which is expected to help reduce traffic congestion.
The MRT is also expected to provide environmentally-friendly public transportation, which could reduce pollution and improve air quality.
The two countries will continue to improve cooperation not only in the railway sector but also in the land, sea, and air sectors.
The collaboration and participation of developed countries in national transportation development in the form of investment have fuelled hopes of the acceleration of transportation development in Indonesia.
Non-state budget creative funding
The Indonesian government, through various meetings with other developed countries, is actively inviting investment and collaboration in various fields of economic activity, especially national transportation infrastructure development, which is currently being promoted.
The step has been taken to continuously drive transportation infrastructure development to improve connectivity and the country’s competitiveness amid state budget limitations.
President Joko Widodo has asked the Ministry of Transportation to continue to boost cooperation in the transportation sector with many countries so that the acceleration of development and national transportation development can continue amid the limited government budget.
To develop the country’s transportation infrastructure, Minister Sumadi has held several meetings and collaborations with many countries that currently seek to invest in Indonesia.
During his meeting with Japan, he talked about several development projects that have been and would be carried out under the collaboration of the two countries, such as MRT, Patimban Port, proving ground development, Jakarta-Surabaya semi-fast train, and the cooperation on marine infrastructure and human resources.
Meanwhile, an MoU has been signed with Japan regarding the continuation of MRT Jakarta East-West Line Phase 1 construction.
This, according to Sumadi, will help accelerate the development of the Jakarta MRT. Given the cooperation between the two countries in the previous MRT project, the construction is expected to run smoothly.
Meanwhile, with South Korea, the minister has discussed development projects that have been and would be carried out, such as the development of Jakarta MRT and Jakarta LRT, potential development cooperation in sea and air sectors, and the development of human resources in the transportation sector.
It is hoped that in the future, cooperation between the two countries will become more intensive.
Must be creative
Minister Sumadi has invited his staff to get creative in the face of the budget limitations for transportation sector development.
The development must be carried out based on a priority scale, encouraging creative funding that does not depend on the state budget by involving the private sector and other stakeholders and encouraging both domestic and foreign investors to invest in Indonesia’s transportation infrastructure.
Those efforts must be made so that the need for funding to develop transportation infrastructure can be fulfilled and the government’s efforts to ensure good transportation services can continue to improve and run well.
In addition, the Ministry of Transportation has also continued to encourage stakeholders to continue to be creative in accelerating the implementation of Presidential Regulation Number 55 of 2019 on the acceleration of the Battery Electric Vehicle Program for Road Transportation.
Industry players have also been asked to intensively produce and promote electric vehicles in Indonesia, both by producing new vehicles and converting fuel vehicles into battery electric vehicles.
In line with the focus of the G20 Summit on energy transition, electric vehicles can serve as a solution to the problems of the fossil energy crisis and climate change.
Therefore, Indonesia, as the producer of the main components of electric vehicle products (batteries), has the opportunity to become a major player in the global electric vehicle industry.
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