SINGAPORE: There can be more opportunities for cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia in new sectors of the economy, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday (May 20) at the close of a four-day official visit to Indonesia.
“We are more used to investments and cooperation in more traditional sectors of the economy, like manufacturing and infrastructure, but we can go beyond that to new areas, including in the digital economy and the green economy and there are many opportunities there,” the minister said at a doorstop interview from the residence of Singapore’s ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta.
Elaborating, Mr Wong said that climate change is a challenge for all countries and both Singapore and Indonesia are determined to accelerate the green transition and get to net-zero emissions.
“Indonesia has many more opportunities to do so, because it has got the ability to embark on more renewable energy projects, and more scale to do so than Singapore. It also has the opportunity to do nature-based carbon mitigation projects,” he said.
“So there is certainly opportunity for us to work together on some of these projects, be it the financing of these projects, or even to collaborate on actual projects in Indonesia.”
There are similar opportunities in the digital economy, said Mr Wong who had met with start-ups in Indonesia on this trip, including eFishery, an Indonesian aquatech start-up.
“You would not think that there is anything to do with Singapore, but in fact, we also have research in food,” said Mr Wong.
For example, Singapore has research and development into how fish such as barramundi can become more resilient and fish farms can become more productive.
He said that while Singapore may not have the space or opportunity to scale-up fish farms in Singapore, companies here can tie up with Indonesian partners to use their technology and expand in Indonesia.
“Whether it’s the digital economy or the green economy, I think the opportunities for collaboration are truly immense. And the businesses and companies are already looking at all of these different opportunities, which is why Singapore remains the number one investor in Indonesia, at present,” he said.
He added that while Singapore is more familiar with investments and cooperation with Indonesia in Batam, Bintan and Karimun, there is also scope to invest in other parts of Indonesia such as Central Java and Kendal, which he visited on Thursday.
Source: Channel News Asia