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Indonesia woos Chinese investors with $60-billion menu of Belt and Road projects

Reuters  |  JAKARTA 

(Reuters) - is offering new projects worth up to $60 billion to Chinese investors in a bid to capitalise on Beijing's Belt and Road initiative, a said, despite growing concern about the strings tied to some of the loans worldwide.

Despite Indonesia's strategic location, Southeast Asia's largest economy has not been among the biggest beneficiaries of China's trillion-dollar push to create a modern day Silk Road.

Its best-known Belt and Road project is a $6-billion railway linking the capital, Jakarta, to the textile hub of Bandung, which has faced land procurement problems.

However, has been in "structural communication" with since last year on possible infrastructure projects worth a combined $50 billion to $60 billion, said Ridwan Djamaluddin, its

has proposed potential projects across the archipelago, while Chinese officials and experts have toured regional governments in search of projects to fund, he told in an interview.

"We are fully aware that we must not let this cooperation end badly," Djamaluddin said. "Other countries have been forced to pay back loans and some have let go of their assets. We don't want that."

Getting agreement has taken longer than expected because insisted on a business-to-business (B2B) structure for all its deals, refusing to take any government-to-government loans, he added.

"I understand we're not as quick as other countries to tap into the fund because the fund owner will think longer on our offers," Djamaluddin said.

He expected agreements in the next round of talks in April, after responded to Indonesia's most recent proposal last month, he added.

The B2B model would help shield Indonesia from any risk of wielding leverage because of the country's financial dependence, Djamaluddin said.

Any Chinese investment must also employ Indonesian workers and have the most advanced, environmentally and allow for transfer of techonology, he added.

Projects on offer include four hydropower plants with a combined value of $35 billion in Indonesia's province of on the island of Borneo, he said.

In October, (PowerChina) and Indonesia's Kayan Hydro Energy signed a contract for engineering, procurement and construction on the first stage of one plant, the Chinese firm said in a statement. Media have said the project is valued at $17.8 billion.

Indonesia's proposal also offers China the opportunity to build mine-mouth power plants, industrial complexes, ports and other infrastructure in its provinces of Central Kalimantan, North Sumatra, and on the resort island of

(Reporting by and Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by and Clarence Fernandez)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 15:11 IST
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