TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Russia has shown commitment to assist the infrastructure development of Indonesia’s capital city in East Kalimantan but in the same time questions the government’s commitment on the sustainability of the coal train project investment in Central Kalimantan.
“Russia asks about the postponed projects such as the Russian Railways in Central Kalimantan for coal trains. I will send this message to State Ministers in the field and what other reasons have hampered the project’s continuation,” said Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita after a bilateral meeting with Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maksim Oreshkin in Bangkok, Thailand, today.
The meeting between the two men was held in between the 51st ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM).
“But Russia said they will provide support for other infrastructures, especially the ones that are related to the capital city move,” said Enggartiasto.
The bilateral meeting also mentioned about Russia’s policy upon increasing its tax for Indonesia’s palm oil-based products from 10 percent to 20 percent.
According to Oreshkin, the tax increase is not the country’s attempt towards a protectionist policy nor is it a strategy to curb Indonesia’s palm oil products. He maintains that the policy will be reviewed again.
Trade value between both countries up to the end of 2018 reached USD 2.5 billion and saw January to June of 2019 reach USD 1.03 billion with a deficit in Indonesia’s side up to USD 237 million.