Jakarta, InfoPublik - Indonesia and Singapore agreed to expand cooperation in industrial investment and vocational education, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said in respond to his previous meeting with Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. He also added that the partnership between the two countries is increasingly strong and complements each other's huge economic potential.

"Singapore is one of the neighboring countries that play a strategic role to support Indonesia’s and the region’s interests," Airlangga said in Jakarta, Sunday (2/18).

He explained that his office had encouraged Singapore to continue developing integrated industrial area in other regions in Indonesia similar to Kendal Industrial Estate (KIK) in Central Java.

"We offered [industrial estate developments] in North Kalimantan [Tanah Kuning], North Sumatra [Kuala Tanjung], and North Sulawesi [Bitung]," he said.

KIK which was officially opened by Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Nov. 14, 2016 is a joint project between Indonesia’s PT Jababeka Tbk and Singapore’s Sembcorp Development Inc. The investment value in this 2,700 hectare-area reaches USD360 million.

"Until January 2018, KIK has attracted 39 investors from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Japan and has absorbed more than 1,950 employees," he said.

These companies are engaged in the furniture, food, food packaging, steel, label printing, and dolls industries.

"At the meeting with Singapore Foreign Minister, we also discussed the Bilateral Investment Treaty and the renewal negotiation of the Double Taxation Agreement," the Minister explained.


Cooperation in vocational education

In 2017, Singapore became the second-largest investor in Indonesia with USD2.05 billion investment. In addition to efforts to increase investment, Indonesia and Singapore have established a synergy in the development of human capital competence through vocational education.

"For instance, the construction of Polytechnic of Furniture and Wood Processing Industry in KIK in this year is planned to accept 96 new students in three study programs," he explained.

The commitment of cooperation in vocational education is also implemented through the signings of MoU between Indonesian Industry Minister and Singaporean Education Minister; Technical Arrangement (TA) between the Industry Ministry’s secretary general and the director of Singapore Institute of Technical Education (ITE); and Collaborative Agreement between the head of Industry Ministry’s Education and Training Center and Singapore’s ITE Education Services (ITEES).

"It falls in line with the Indonesian President directive to encourage every new industrial region to be completed with vocational education facilities," he said.

The Minister said that as many as 25 principals and teachers from vocational high school (SMK) in Indonesia will attend leadership training at Singapore ITE Campus.

"Leadership Training Workshop is held in Singapore ITE Campus from Feb. 19 to Mar. 3, 2018," he said.

The participants consist of productive teachers in the sectors of machinery, electrical power plant utilization, and industrial automation. They came from vocational high schools in Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, and East Java. (Translator: Siti Chodijah)