The idea of sea toll routes, which is one of the flagship programs of President Joko Widodo, is not unique to Indonesia. Chinese President Xi Jinping also shares this vision, which he calls “one belt one road”.
According to the Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Franky Sibarani, the two programs have a common vision. The key to both visions is building connectivity. "The government has purposefully been constructing transportation facilities such as ports, airports, sea tolls routes and toll roads," Franky said in his official statement on Monday evening (27/7). (Read: Sea Toll Slashes Staples Prices in East Indonesia).
This common vision, according to Franky, will strengthen the historic business relations between the two countries that have existed since the times of the Silk Road. The similarity of these programs can strengthen a mutually beneficial cooperation, which will help to make Indonesia a major global maritime axis.
Indonesian potential can be developed to enhance business opportunities. The country is strategically located for world trade, has abundant natural resources, a rapidly growing digital economy and stable GDP, and is a target for global investment. This affords China plenty of opportunities to invest in Indonesia.
“The cooperation between Indonesia and China can increase the value of investment and development, in particular of the sea toll route that is currently being developed," said Franky.
The construction of such infrastructure facilities is intended to ease the flow of goods and capital in regions across Indonesia. An interconnected transport network will maximize product use and distribution for investors, including those from China. (Read: 20 Chinese Investors Seek Business Opportunities in Indonesia).
According to Franky, the government's efforts to build transport infrastructure are evident from the plans to develop 150 new ports starting in 2015, manufacture 100 vessels, and the establish of 86 marine routes. It also has plans to construct 19 new airports, refurbish132 airports, and expand 27 airports, as well as build 1,000 kilometers of toll roads scheduled for completion in 2019, construct 2,650 kilometers of new roads, repair 46,770 kilometers of roads, and build 2,159 kilometers of intercity railway.
BKPM data show that between 2010 and 2015, China committed to investing US$ 52.3 billion in Indonesia. Actual capital inflow for the first quarter of 2016 was US$ 464 million, comprising 339 projects employing 10,167 workers. In terms of investment value, China is ranked fourth after Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong. (Read: Japan Interested in Investing in Sea Toll).