JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Singapores Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, during a meeting at the Merdeka Palace, here, Friday, discussed efforts to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation between both nations.
"(They) discussed three focus areas of cooperation in future, including investment. As we know, Singapore was the largest foreign investor in Indonesia in 2016, with investment worth US$9.2 billion," Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister A. M. Fachir stated after accompanying the president to the meeting.
Currently, 41 Singaporean companies are in the process of applying for permits to start businesses in Semarang, Central Java, which can employ some four thousand workers, according to Fachir. So far, 30 Singaporean companies have been operating in Semarang and have employed some 1,700 workers, he noted.
Jokowi and Hean also explored business cooperation in the digital economic sector, which will be further discussed during the next annual ASEAN Summit to be held in Singapore. "The third relates to infrastructure for regional development," Fachir noted.
President Jokowi pointed out that the Kendal Industrial Park is a model of cooperation to be replicated in other regions, he remarked. The Kendal Industrial Park is an integrated industrial zone located in Central Java and built by Singaporean investors.
President Jokowi and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long of Singapore officiated the opening of the Kendal Industrial Park in Central Java Province on November 14, 2016. Hean mentioned Batam, Bintan, and Karimun, all on Sumatra Island, as the next target for Singapore's investment, according to Fachir.
"Hence, we, Indonesia, will take steps to facilitate investment there," he remarked. President Jokowi, on the occasion, congratulated Singapore on the countrys 52nd Independence anniversary. He expressed hope that bilateral relations between Indonesia and Singapore would be further strengthened and deepened.