JAKARTA, Oct 17, 2020, ANTARA. Indonesia and Singapore have agreed to enhance economic cooperation, including in digital technology investment, to speed up economic recovery in the two countries which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, ANTARA reported.
“Indonesia-Singapore have agreed to make remarkable efforts and initiate new policy breakthroughs to ensure that stringent health protocols can run in line with economic recovery,” Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said here in a bilateral meeting, held online on Thursday.
At the ministerial meeting, the Singapore delegation was led by Trade and Industry Minister, Chan Chun Sing.
Both countries highlighted the importance of previous agreements, such as the ratification of bilateral investment, travel corridor, provisions for the elimination of double taxation, and Indonesia’s structural reform policy through the job creation law.
Hartarto said the agreement is aimed at improving the investment climate and Indonesia’s competitiveness in the region.
The two countries also see the potential to increase investment, especially in the sector of digital economy, smart cities, financial technology, and digital technology-based start-ups.
Indonesia, he said, could learn from other countries that have made advanced progress in the sector, hence cooperation in digital economy and training in technology application are important.
The bilateral meeting also discussed achievements in bilateral economic cooperation in six working groups, namely Batam, Bintan Karimun working group (WG) and special economic zone; working group on investment; transportation; tourism, labor, and agribusiness.
Singapore is the third largest trade partner of Indonesia, while Indonesia is the sixth largest trade partner of Singapore.
The city-state was a major source of foreign investment for Indonesia in 2014-2019, with total investment reaching US$6.5 billion in 2019. In the tourism sector, 1.61 million tourists from Singapore visited Indonesia last year.
Amid the global economic slowdown and crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore’s investment in Indonesia until the second quarter of 2020 has increased 36.19 percent to US$4.67 billion compared to US$3.43 billion during the same period of 2019.
While Indonesia’s exports to Singapore as of August, 2020 have reached US$7.42 billion, down 15.05 percent compared to the same period of 2019, when the figure was recorded at US$8.74 billion. (INE)