Source: Antara News

Date: 3 July 2021

Indonesian National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa pressed for deepening cooperation between Indonesia and France to create a low-carbon environment, green and blue economy, as well as cooperation in financing the development of government projects.

Monoarfa, concurrently the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) head, made the statement while receiving senior officials from The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and senior officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (French Treasury) at the Indonesian Embassy in Paris, France.

"The Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas has prepared an economic transformation strategy. The AFD collaboration with the ministry is an effort to implement Indonesia's economic transformation strategy, particularly to create a green economy," Minister Monoarfa noted in his official statement here on Saturday.

During the meeting, the minister affirmed that both parties had concurred on intensifying cooperation in realizing a low-carbon environment or green economy, with the focus on energy transition, waste management, and green industry, including green tourism. Waste-to-energy projects are some potential projects that can be developed. Meanwhile, the AFD will also fully support Indonesia's steps in implementing the pilot project that plans to transform Bali into a blue island.

"The Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas will facilitate potential projects that can be financed with AFD loans, such as the eco-fishing port and mass transit program, particularly in Bandung and Medan," the minister noted.

On the occasion, the AFD stated that through closer cooperation with Indonesia, coupled with other cooperation projects and in order to boost operational flexibility, operations of the AFD representative office in Indonesia in future will operate as a separate institution from the French Embassy in the country.

Meanwhile, the French Treasury also stated that in recent years, the French Treasury loans were distributed to finance the construction of television transmitters and the Meteorological System in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is also still considering funds from the French government for several government projects on account of the cooperation between both nations in financing development through the French Treasury financing facility that has existed since long.

"Several Indonesian government projects that can be potentially financed by the French Treasury are the National Data Center and the digitalization of broadcasting system. The National Data Center project will be implemented in the near future," Minister Monoarfa stated.

The minister pushed for more competitive financing from the French government for its Indonesian counterpart's projects as compared to other sources of financing. He is also sanguine that the French government would help with technical readiness and capacity building for recipients.

In the meantime, the French government has positively welcomed the cooperation plan, especially pertaining to the use of French Information and Communication Technology, such as satellites and radar. The French government also offers technical assistance in the preparation of the project using technology from the country.

Regarding the financing scheme, the French Treasury will negotiate with the banking syndicate, so that the financing can be implemented more competitively.