One of the concrete deliverables of cooperation among G20 members is the MoU on digital economy cooperation between Indonesia and China.
"Sir, Mr. President Joko Widodo, CIT for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train is ready, and the on-track inspection will be carried out soon, we’re waiting for your instructions, Sir," said train machinist Supriadi from Tegal Luar Station, Bandung. "Execute," said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Following Supriadi's report, China’s machinist Mu Zhen reported the same report in his native language. "Execute," President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping responded.
The two then stepped inside the yellow, white, gray, and orange locomotive of the super-fast train. The train then moved slowly leaving Tegal Luar Station.
This moment took place when President Jokowi and PRC President Xi Jinping inspected the trial of the Comprehensive Inspection Train (CIT) or the high-speed train, a virtual inspection of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Train (KCJB) before the RI-PRC bilateral meeting at the Apurva Kempinski, Nusa Dua, Bali, Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2022.
The meeting, held after President Jokowi and President Xi completed the G20 Summit at the same location, is the second bilateral meeting between the two countries following the first meeting held in Beijing last July.
This meeting is President Xi Jinping’s first visit since being re-elected for the third time as China's president at the 20th CCP Congress in October 2022. The coordinating minister for Maritime and Investments Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan gave a report on the latest developments of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train project. Minister Luhut said the progress of the High-Speed Train project is progressing at an 80.4 percent pace and is targeted to begin service in June 2023.
The former Presidential Chief of Staff emphasized that the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train project should not be delayed. The KCJB project is one of the main projects of the Global Maritime Fulcrum and the Belt and Road Initiative which was initiated by China. In particular, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train has established a precedent for strategic cooperation between Indonesia and China.
"The Indonesian government is committed to providing full support for the completion of this project, both in terms of policy, finance and in conformity with regulations in Indonesia," explained Minister Luhut.
According to the Minister, the KCJB project has become a stepping stone for a variety of strategic cooperation projects between the two countries, such as the Weda Bay Morowali Industrial Area, and the North Kalimantan Green Industrial Area. At the conclusion of his report, Luhut hoped that President Xi Jinping would be able to attend the inauguration of the High-Speed Train in June 2023 in Indonesia.
When giving the introduction to the Indonesia-China bilateral meeting, President Jokowi expressed his hope that the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train could operate in June 2023. The two leaders talked about other topics outside the bullet train from Jakarta to Bandung, including the progress of cooperation in other fields. One of them relates to cooperation in the health sector and the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"In early October, I inaugurated the first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine factory in Southeast Asia, owned by PT Etana Biotechnologies," said President Jokowi who was accompanied, among others, by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno PL Marsudi, and Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan.
Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping expressed his appreciation for the G20 meetings being held under the Indonesian Presidency, which could promote global economic recovery. "I congratulate His Excellency for successfully leading the G20 Summit," said the Chinese president.
After holding a bilateral meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of five cooperation documents that had been agreed upon by the two countries in a number of fields. The five documents are:
- Action Plan for Joint Promotion of Cooperation in the Framework of the World Maritime Axis and the Belt and Road initiative;
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Joint Development of the Indonesia-China Medicinal Plant Conservation, Research, and Innovation Center;
- Memorandum of Understanding on Industrial Sector Vocational Training;
- Memorandum of Understanding on Increasing Digital Economy Cooperation; and
- Agreement on Further Expanding and Deepening Bilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation.
The Agreement on Further Expanding and Deepening Bilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation was signed directly by the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia Zulkifli Hasan and the Minister of Trade of China Wang Wentao. The agreement is also known as the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Further Expanding and Deepening Bilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation (BETC).
Minister Zulkifli Hasan said that the BETC Agreement renewal this year shows clear evidence of the commitment of the two countries to maximizing market potential while simultaneously expanding the areas of bilateral economic, trade, and investment cooperation.
BETC serves as the legal basis for economic and trade cooperation between Indonesia and China. The two countries agreed to renew the BETC Agreement as the previous BETC agreement expired in April 2021.
China has recently ranked as Indonesia's top trading partner in terms of both in terms of exports and imports. In the January-September 2022 period, the value of Indonesia's exports to China reached US$46.88 billion.
Meanwhile, the MoU on Digital Economic Cooperation was signed between Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto and Chinese Trade Minister Wang Wentao. The MoU regulates the establishment of a framework and forum for the governments of Indonesia and the PRC to explore digital economic cooperation.
The scope of cooperation in the MoU includes open cooperation, including in the exploration of digital business opportunities between the two countries, the acceleration of digital transformation in all sectors, cooperation in the development of digital infrastructure, smart cities, e-commerce, digital technology innovation, as well as the development of new business formats and models such as telemedicine, smart logistics, and also other scopes agreed upon by both parties.
Additionally, Indonesia and the PRC agreed to encourage the government, universities, research institutions, and companies to carry out joint training programs, meetings, and seminars in the digital economy.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Digital Economy Cooperation is one of the concrete deliverables of cooperation among G20 members.