SINGAPORE: There can be extra alternatives for cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia in new sectors of the economic system, mentioned Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday (May 20) on the shut of a four-day official go to to Indonesia.
“We are more used to investments and cooperation in more traditional sectors of the economy, like manufacturing and infrastructure, but we can go beyond that to new areas, including in the digital economy and the green economy and there are many opportunities there,” the minister mentioned at a doorstop interview from the residence of Singapore’s ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta.
Elaborating, Mr Wong mentioned that local weather change is a problem for all international locations and each Singapore and Indonesia are decided to speed up the inexperienced transition and get to net-zero emissions.
“Indonesia has many more opportunities to do so, because it has got the ability to embark on more renewable energy projects, and more scale to do so than Singapore. It also has the opportunity to do nature-based carbon mitigation projects,” he mentioned.
“So there is certainly opportunity for us to work together on some of these projects, be it the financing of these projects, or even to collaborate on actual projects in Indonesia.”
There are comparable alternatives in the digital economic system, mentioned Mr Wong who had met with start-ups in Indonesia on this journey, together with eFishery, an Indonesian aquatech start-up.
“You would not think that there is anything to do with Singapore, but in fact, we also have research in food,” mentioned Mr Wong.
For instance, Singapore has analysis and growth into how fish equivalent to barramundi can turn out to be extra resilient and fish farms can turn out to be extra productive.
He mentioned that whereas Singapore could not have the area or alternative to scale-up fish farms in Singapore, corporations right here can tie up with Indonesian companions to use their know-how and increase in Indonesia.
“Whether it’s the digital economy or the green economy, I think the opportunities for collaboration are truly immense. And the businesses and companies are already looking at all of these different opportunities, which is why Singapore remains the number one investor in Indonesia, at present,” he mentioned.
He added that whereas Singapore is extra accustomed to investments and cooperation with Indonesia in Batam, Bintan and Karimun, there may be additionally scope to make investments in different elements of Indonesia equivalent to Central Java and Kendal, which he visited on Thursday.
Over this week, Mr Wong had met quite a few senior officers in capital Jakarta and in Central Java.
He mentioned alternatives to step up mutual cooperation with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, talked about methods to advance financial cooperation with Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto and met Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto in addition to Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, amongst others.
Mr Wong additionally visited Kendal Industrial Park, a three way partnership in Central Java by Singapore’s Sembcorp and Indonesia developer Jababeka.
MET “BROADER RANGE” OF INDONESIAN LEADERS
Mr Wong mentioned that whereas this go to to Indonesia was organized “some time back”, the timing was opportune.
“Of late, there had been some updates in my appointment, particularly with the developments around succession planning, and me being appointed as the 4G leader. But in a way, the timing could not have been better,” he mentioned.
While his relationship with Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has been excellent, he has had an opportunity to meet extra Indonesian leaders on this four-day journey, he mentioned.
“I have known Sri Mulyani for a long time, even as second Minister for Finance, and I have interacted and worked with her for over many years, but I have had fewer chances to work with other Indonesian ministers,” mentioned Mr Wong.
“So it was I think, a good opportunity for me coming this time around to meet a broader range of Indonesian leaders, to interact with them and get to know them better.”
He added that on the bilateral entrance, relations are “in good order”.
“In the last two years, we have continued to strengthen our cooperation, especially working together to tackle the pandemic. We have also in the recent years resolved certain long standing bilateral issues, namely the agreements we have on extradition, defence and Flight Information Region. We are now waiting for these agreements to be ratified,” he mentioned.
Mr Wong additionally mentioned that extra may be completed to encourage people-to-people exchanges now that borders are open and flights are resuming after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic.
Replying to a CNA reporter’s query on when Singapore and Indonesia can resume full connectivity, Mr Wong mentioned that whereas each side would love that, airways “will need some time to catch up with demand”.
“I hope before too long, we will be able to get the capacity increased and we will be able to resume more direct flights and hopefully, that will also help to bring down air fares.”
Source : channelnewsasia.com