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Friday, 28 June 2024 16:06

Indonesia-Thailand Share Lessons and Economic Cooperation Opportunities

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VOInews, Jakarta: Indonesia shares its experience of economic resilient growth after Covid-19 with Thailand. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto on Wednesday (26/6), welcomed a delegation from the Thai Parliament at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs office, Jakarta.


According to the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs' website, Thursday (27/6/2024), the Thai delegation led by Parit Wacharasindhu, Chairman of the Thai Parliament's Commission for Political Development, Mass Communication and Public Participation, wanted to know the policy direction and potential for cooperation between Indonesia and Thailand.


"Indonesia is a country that has three time zones, so decentralisation is the key, as growth is not to be centralised. Indonesia wants each region to have the same growth so that development does not only occur in Java Island, but also around eastern and western Indonesia," Airlangga explained.


Airlangga added that one of the efforts is to develop Special Economic Zones. The Indonesian government has nearly 22 special economic zones throughout Indonesia, and one of Indonesia's policies is to develop downstream industries.


Airlangga also explained that for the manufacturing industry, Indonesia has launched Indonesia 4.0. Indonesia has also focused on critical minerals which only two years ago the United States and Europe realised the importance of critical minerals. 


Airlangga also explained that Indonesia produces 50 million tonnes of CPO and is developing biodiesel 35. According to Airlangga, Thailand's strength in producing sugar, including raw sugar, in the next phase Thailand can build ethanol which can be another opportunity for cooperation between Indonesia and Thailand. 


"We need to make investments that increase energy self-sufficiency in ASEAN countries. And I think that's important for this sector. So, I think in those two issues, regarding palm oil and natural rubber, I think we have to work together," Airlangga said.


Furthermore, regarding EV, Airlangga said that critical minerals such as nickel, copper, cobalt, and aluminium, which are raw materials for new and renewable energy, are found in Indonesia. On the occasion, Airlangga explained that there are opportunities for cooperation between Indonesia and Thailand in the electric vehicle development chain. 


In the digitalisation sector, under Indonesia's leadership in the 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship, a digital economy framework agreement (DEFA) has been launched, one of which is expected to facilitate transactions. 


"So with the spirit of ASEAN, we want to further integrate people and establish economic relations between ASEAN countries. For digitalisation itself, with the digital economy framework agreement, the ASEAN economy can increase to 2 trillion dollars (USD)," he said.


During the meeting, Airlangga also explained in more detail other matters asked by the Thai Delegation, one of which was related to policies that support MSMEs. 


Airlangga also explained about Indonesia's support for start-ups not only through funding but also training. During the meeting, Indonesia and Thailand were open to potential cooperation that could be established between the two countries. 


"In ASEAN, if Indonesia and Thailand work together, I think there are many things we can achieve for our ASEAN," Airlangga concluded.


Source: Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs

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