TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government is scheduled to discuss the development of Batam with its Singaporean counterparts during President Joko Widodo's state visit to the city state from July 28 to 29, 2015.
"I plan to discuss the development of Batam, Bintan, and Karimun - because I believe we need to put more focus on developing these areas," said the President at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The President said that the development of the area could eventually spillover and benefit the Indonesian economy as a whole. "As such, I hope that we could hash out a deal with the Singaporean government," he said.
"What needs to be stressed is that even if Singapore wants to play by their own terms, we will definitely continue the process of developing Batam and its vicinity - the area cannot remain stagnant while other areas are being developed further," he continued.
That said, President Jokowi stopped short of detailing what sort of development that he is referring to. "We have yet to decide on the matter - whether we're going to further develop its tourism potential, or whether it is Batam's industrial capacity, we are only about to begin discussing the matter," he said.
The President said that he is adamant that his officials will always put national interests in mind when hashing out any sort of a cooperation - whether it is with Singapore or any other nations. "That is why we need to have enough leverage before we enter into any negotiations," he said.
Meanwhile, when asked about a meeting with businesses in Singapore that is scheduled to take place during the visit, the President said that he will be showcasing Indonesia's economic growth and investment opportunities. "I will be focusing on infrastructure projects - may it be tollways, power plants or ports," he said.
"I am not there to offer our natural resources for sale," he finished.