South Korea eyes RI major infrastructure projects
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta - 28/03/2011
The South Korean government has reasserted its interest in participating in Indonesian infrastructure projects, including a railway which would connect Jakarta and the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Tangerang, and another would run between Jakarta and Surabaya.
The projects would require investments of several billion United States dollars.
The Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), a state-funded research body focused on improving railway systems and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in designing railway development strategies and planning.
The signing of the cooperation agreement is part of the South Korean government’s preparation to take part in the tender for the projects.
KRRI business adviser for the Asia Economic Community Park Sung-chur said that his institution would coordinate with the South Korean government on finance for the projects. “We think that it is possible to spend the most effective budget to fund the projects so that the railway strategies can be realized soon,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Kadin inter-institution relations standing committee chairman Biben Akbar said on Sunday that a number of Korean companies would likely establish a consortium to take part in the tender.
If they win the project, the sources of funding would come from the Korea Development Bank and the Korean government.
Park said that so far KRRI had communicated with Kadin and the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) on handling infrastructure projects in Indonesia.
“If everything goes well and is feasible, we will approach related representatives from [Indonesian] government immediately,” Park said.
KRRI president Sung Kyou Choi said that in addition to seeking opportunities in railroad projects, his institution was also keen to work on similar projects in other areas across Indonesia.
“We are interested in planning the railway networks in Indonesia, not only in Jakarta and Surabaya, but also in other cities,” he said.
Biben said that other railroads might possibly be built in other large Indonesian cities, such as Medan, Bandung and Semarang.
“An intra-city railway system is really needed to overcome traffic jams in such big cities,” he said.
Biben added that the development of a mass transportation system would help create job opportunities in urban centers and stimulate economic growth.
“We expect that our cooperation with KRRI would answer our needs for mass transportation,” he said.
Sung said that in addition to planning strategies to develop railway systems for Indonesia, his organization would also implement technology already applied in Korea to accelerate economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Korea’s only railway research body currently engages in a number of projects at home, such as the Korean high speed rail and urban light rail transit. It has also developed a railway strategy for Brazil.
Biben expected that that the cooperation would cover not only the implementation of railway strategies in Indonesia, but also technology transfer from KRRI to Indonesian universities through research and training.