The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has expressed interest in developing railway infrastructure in Bangladesh by joining a tender for the export of 1,050 train cars to the South Asian country.
State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir welcomed Bangladeshi Railways Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujon in Jakarta on Thursday to discuss opportunities for Indonesia to join the railway project.
The president directors of state-owned firms likely to be involved in such a project also attended the meeting. They represented electronic equipment maker PT Len Industri, train manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (Inka) and railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI).
"We are not only seeking a business-to-business partnership but also want to help train [workers from Bangladesh] to support our partnership," Erick told reporters after the meeting in Jakarta.
The move marks yet another effort to push local trainmakers onto the global market. Last year, Inka sent 15 train cars to Bangladesh, part of 250 to be shipped in total, after the company exported 200 train cars to the country in 2006 and 2016.
"Certainly, this is part of our efforts to develop train industries not only inside the country but also to supply other countries, like Bangladesh," Erick said.
Erick estimated that the railways partnership with Bangladesh had generated US$181.6 million in revenue since 2005. The Bangladeshi minister said Bangladesh and Indonesia were "good friends" and highlighted the fact that both countries had large Muslim populations.
The Philippine state railway operator is using two trains made by Inka to serve customers in Makati city, the financial hub of metropolitan Manila. Inca is also set to deliver 30 electrodiesel locomotives worth $91.3 million to Zambia based on a contract signed in January 2018.
The state-owned train manufacturer said last year it was expecting to sign Rp 7.2 trillion ($506 million) worth of order contracts in 2019, including for exports of rolling stock to African and Asian countries.