India, Indonesia MoUs focus on infrastructure development

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - India and Indonesia Tuesday signed $15.1 billion worth of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for investments in Indonesia, mainly focused on developing airports, rail and power plants in the country.

The two countries have set a target to double bilateral trade to $25 billion in the next five years.

We are committed to take our bilateral trade and business relations to a new high, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is on a three-day official visit to India, said at a business meeting here.

Yudhoyono said the agreements signed between businesses and government bodies of the two counties would help develop world class physical infrastructure in Indonesia.

As many as 18 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) valued at $15.1 billion were signed between Indian and Indonesian companies and government bodies at a business event organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

GVK Power and Infrastructure signed two MoUs to develop green field international airports in North Bali and Yogyakarta in Java.

The development of the two airports will need an investment of nearly $5 billion, G.V. Sanjay Reddy, vice-chairman of GVK Power and Infrastructure, told reporters after signing ceremony.

Reddy said the project will be completed in 4-5 years time.

Adani Group and Tata Power signed agreements to develop power projects in Indonesia.

Welcoming Indian investments, Yudhoyono said Indonesia has taken a number of steps to create business friendly environment, including liberalisation of land acquisition norms, curtailing fiscal deficit and creating better social and physical infrastructure.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the two countries had set a new target to double bilateral trade to $25 billion by 2015 from estimated $12.5 billion in 2010.

Potentials are enormous. We had set a target of $10 billion trade by 2010. We have surpassed it. I am confident that we will beat $25 billion target also, Sharma said.

India’s bilateral trade with Indonesia has more than trebled in the last five years. It has increased from nearly $4 billion in 2005 to an estimated $12.5 billion in 2010.

The minister said the two countries have agreed to start negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

India’s free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has helped boost India-Indonesia bilateral trade, he said.

Indonesia will chair the ASEAN this year. Our excellent political and economic relations with Indonesia will help India’s integration with ASEAN, Sharma added.

Filed under: Economy

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