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Diplomacy
10-03-2017
Indonesia, S Africa explore cooperation in transportation

The governments of Indonesia and South Africa are exploring cooperation on air transportation and railways development in Kalimantan, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi stated.


"The cooperation is a follow-up of a meeting between President Joko Widodo and his South Africa's counterpart Jacob Gedleyehlekisa Zuma," Sumadi said in a press statement received here on Thursday.

A South African company has expressed interest in developing railways in Kalimantan to transport coal.

"Mining field in South Africa has developed in recent years," the minister stated.

The transportation ministry will study the cooperation in detail.

Meanwhile, the governments of Indonesia and South Africa have agreed to increase cooperation in the field of aviation.

Widodo expected that Indonesia could be hub for flights to Asian countries as South Africa is set to be hub for flights to African countries.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ambassador to South Africa Suprapto Martosetomo noted that South Africa had a lot of business opportunities which could be explored by Indonesia.

"South Africa has advanced in technology. We can develop the railway sector in South Africa," he stated.

The cooperation between Indonesia and South Africa, particularly in the air transport sector, started since 1997. In that year, a treaty was signed to open the air links between the two countries.

In 2013, both countries signed a MoU related to the management of air transport rights. The MoU contained the agreement to open service flights on Indonesia-South Africa route with a frequency of seven times a week.

The two countries agreed to open the entire flight access through their respective international airports.

South Africa has three major international airports, namely Cape Town International Airport, Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg), and Durban International Airport.

However, until now there are no airlines of Indonesia or South Africa that serve flights between the two countries.

Indonesia and South Africa earlier discussed efforts to increase trade cooperation and reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers for their prime products and commodities.

Widodo expressed his happiness on receiving Zuma, who visited the country after 12 years, at a joint press conference following the meeting between the two countries delegations here on Wednesday.

"Indonesia and South Africa are two emerging countries and members of G20 who have been working together under the South-South cooperation scheme," he stated.

Jokowi, as he is also called, stated that he hoped the partnership between the two countries, including new Asia-Africa strategic partnerships, could be more intensified. Therefore, the bilateral meeting focused on talks for more efforts to increase trade cooperation.

Jokowi has proposed a wider trade cooperation to cover Indonesia-South Africa Custom Union (SACU) cooperation and pledged to send a concerned minister to follow it up.



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