Jokowi to visit Russia in May to further bilateral economic cooperation
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will undertake an official state visit to Russia in an effort to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries, Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov said.
The visit will be made in late May when President Jokowi attends the ASEAN-Russia Summit, Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi confirmed.
"President Jokowi has accepted the invitation from our president. We really look forward to his visit to Russia," Manturov told journalists on Friday.
The Russian government would prepare some documents to be signed during Jokowi's visit, possibly a memorandum of understanding to follow up on the bilateral cooperation agreements reached by the two countries, Manturov said.
Manturov delivered the invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Jakarta on Friday, when the Russian delegation met with Indonesian ministers to discuss economic cooperation, investment in particular.
In the spotlight was the US$2.5 billion Russia has invested in railway construction in Kalimantan, a long-awaited plan that has been in the works since 2011.
Manturov confirmed that the Russian government had already divided the five-year project, named Borneo Railways, into four construction phases and had set up subsidiaries to handle them.
According to Manturov, Russia also wished to establish industrial cooperation with state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) to produce several MC-21 plane parts in Indonesia, which in the long run was aimed at producing 20 to 100 planes in 10 years.
"It's a win-win solution. This will give motivation to Indonesia and guarantee alternative supplies to Russia, which today is still buying from Western companies," said Manturov.
He added that Russia would be ready to cooperate with Indonesia in other areas, such as in nuclear energy plants and gas turbine energy, as well as by supplying oil from Russian oil companies to Indonesia, adding that Russia was also looking for reliable Indonesian partners to participate in Russian projects.
"We are absolutely open. It depends on the Indonesia partners and this relies on the [Indonesian] government, too," Manturov said. (bbn)
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