Budi Karya Sumadi: The first high-speed railway opens a new chapter in Indonesia's transportation

2023年12月01日 09:28   21世纪经济报道 21财经APP   胡慧茵,李依农

南方财经全媒体记者胡慧茵 李依农 印尼雅加达报道

From ancient times, Indonesia has played a pivotal role as a key crossroads along the Maritime Silk Road. Recently, Indonesia's first high-speed railway has entered into service, heralding a new era.

Budi Karya Sumadi, the Indonesian Minister of Transportation, has witnessed the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway being officially in operation, which is also the Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway. In an exclusive interview with SFC, he highlights the fruits that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) promises for its partners, and gives valuable insights on deepening all-round strategic cooperation between the two sides.

Budi emphasized, “the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway will open a new chapter in Indonesia's transportation sector.” 

SFC Markets and Finance: How do you think the railway is combined with Indonesia's existing transportation infrastructure and network?

Budi Karya Sumadi: This line runs from Jakarta to Bandung via stations of Halim and Padalarang. According to our plan, it will be extended all the way to Surabaya.

SFC Markets and Finance: What effect do you think the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway will have on Indonesia's economic and social development after its opening?

Budi Karya Sumadi: As we all know, Java Island has become a densely populated island, especially in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya. They are all densely populated cities. So, we must boost the travel speed from Jakarta to Bandung.

SFC Markets and Finance: Could you please share with us the highlights of China-Indonesia cooperation under the “Belt and Road” Initiative? What kind of results and progress will the bilateral cooperation achieve under the initiative?

Budi Karya Sumadi: Speaking of the "Belt and Road" Initiative, I think it concerns not only the road on land but also the maritime road. The Maritime Silk Road is very important to us, because Indonesia lies between Europe and China as a bridge linking the two continents. In the future, we will determine the sea routes and logistics ports to be built between China and Indonesia. Of course, land routes are worth mentioning too. Indonesia has many islands separated by great distances. Therefore, we plan to adopt high-speed rail as our primary mode of transportation in the future. The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is a good example. We have to admit that it is highly technological. Knowledge transfer is a process. We take pride in becoming the first ASEAN country having high-speed railways. Many people are expecting to take a high-speed train. 

SFC Markets and Finance: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership. What do you think of our achievements and the development of the bilateral strategic partnership in the past decade?

Budi Karya Sumadi: I'd like to answer it from several aspects. The first aspect is transportation, a sector I'm in charge of. Construction and development of high-speed railway will bring great changes. In the future, it may only take three and a half hours to travel from Surabaya to Jakarta, which will open a new chapter in Indonesia's transportation sector and bring innovative changes.

The second aspect is the electric automobile industry, another sector I'm in charge of. We know China is in the lead in construction. Next, we will invite more Chinese factories to join us in our construction projects.

The third aspect is the downstream nickel processing industry. With heavy investment attracted to Indonesia, we have obtained additional value through processing raw materials into semi-finished products.

SFC Markets and Finance: What are the essential conditions for the successful establishment of the bilateral strategic partnership?

Budi Karya Sumadi: Mutual trust is the first condition. In providing us with technologies, China believes we can make good use of them. And we trust China in a similar way. China has offered the high-speed railway technology to Indonesia. I think it's the right time to develop high-speed railways and electric automobiles. The high-speed routes have been properly designed. Now is the perfect time for the development of high-speed railways. So we really need advanced railway and electric automobile technologies.

SFC Markets and Finance: Actually, China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is connected with Indonesia's Global Maritime Fulcrum strategy. What do you think of the strategic cooperation between the two countries? In what fields will we deepen our cooperation in the future?

Budi Karya Sumadi: Sea routes are essential, as the volume of maritime freight is really huge. In particular, economic activities between Indonesia and China are very frequent. Now, via Indonesia, China can reach other economic centers, like the Middle East and Europe. That's why our cooperation should be deepened. We should try to improve the existing facilities. For example, China and Indonesia are trying to develop and construct ports. We have built several ports in Indonesia. It would be better if China can join us in these projects. 

Besides, I hope Indonesia's private enterprises can enter China, which will help both sides build trust. This is how to deepen our cooperation in the maritime field. Besides, I think our cooperation areas should be expanded. Indonesia has become the first country using aircrafts produced by the COMAC. We can also join hands to explore other fields, like the automobile industry. We will pool our ideas and focus on issues which are more relevant to our development. Construction is important, but so is the two countries’ common interest.

SFC Markets and Finance: Could you please share with us China's investment in Indonesia's transportation field? According to your estimate, how will China's investment volume change in the future?

Budi Karya Sumadi: In the transportation field, Indonesia's railway traffic is developing well and has brought new opportunities to our national development. I believe our investment is beneficial to the country, and I feel proud of that. I hope the advanced technologies from China will stimulate the younger generation in Indonesia and let them believe in themselves.

In the automobile field, many of our cars, buses and motorcycles are from China. Now, we have started to produce these products. Moreover, I hope to introduce advanced technologies to Indonesia, so that Indonesians can take part in the production of spare parts and our local values can be better utilized, in cars, buses and motorcycles which are manufactured here.




记者:胡慧茵 李依农 


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