Mon, Sep 25, 2017 - Page 15 News List

Jakarta eyes Taiwan’s shipbuilders

QUALITY:Taiwan’s and China’s investment schemes differ, as Beijing eyes infrastructure projects, while Taiwan seeks cooperation, an Indonesian official said

Staff writer, with CNA, JAKARTA

Taiwanese shipbuilders should consider investing in Indonesia, as it aims to become a maritime power and is engaged in international maritime trade, a senior Indonesian government official said.

Indonesia needs more ships to achieve the goal, Indonesian Coordinating Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Edy Putra Irawady said in an interview with the Central News Agency.

Praising Taiwan for its experience and advanced techniques in shipbuilding and managing the routes of container and cargo vessels, Edy urged Taiwanese shipbuilders to consider investing in Indonesia.

Such cooperation need not be limited to shipbuilding, but could also encompass ship repair and maintenance, Edy said.

The two nations could cooperate in the maritime sector, said the deputy minister, who has visited Taiwan several times over the past few years to study the nation’s economy.

Indonesia needs Taiwan’s metal, electronics and textile products, and can also learn from its fishery techniques, Edy said.

He praised Taiwan for developing a broad global commercial network and high-quality technological products, which he said are more competitive than those of South Korea and China.

Asked if Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy conflicts with China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Edy said he sees them as two different approaches.

The Chinese initiative focuses on infrastructure development, while Taiwan’s policy is aimed at seeking multilateral cooperation to boost regional economic growth and prosperity, Edy said.

The policy was not developed solely for Taiwan’s interests, he added.

The quality of Taiwanese investments differ from that of the Chinese initiative, he said, adding that China has invested in many Indonesian industries, but many of them are high carbon emitters.

In contrast, Taiwanese investments under the policy mostly target industries in the high-tech sector, and involve high-quality products and skilled talent.

“Indonesia has benefited in the long term,” Edy said.

Taiwan’s policy and the Chinese initiative have different goals and operational mechanisms, said Paramitaningrum, an academic at Bina Nusantara University’s International Relations Department who studies Taiwan-Indonesia relations, adding that Taiwan cares more about cooperation in the areas of education and healthcare than China, so it has an advantage in Indonesia.

In terms of capacity-building, Indonesia should learn from Taiwan how to discover and cultivate talent, Paramitaningrum said.

This is an area that could prove key in ensuring that interactions between the two nations continue to grow, she added.

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