BRI will generate synergy and create multiplier effects: Indonesian ambassador
Published: Oct 29, 2023 01:57 PM
High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Achievements and Prospects Forum in Beijing on October 28, 2023. Photo: GT

"High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Achievements and Prospects" Forum in Beijing on October 28, 2023. Photo: GT

Connectivity in the future will not just be about infrastructure and productivity but also digital and people-to-people connectivity, Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun said at a forum in Beijing on Saturday.
The forum about the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) themed "High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Achievements and Prospects" was held by the National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The forum consisted of three workshops, "Hard Connectivity," "Soft Connectivity," and "Heart-to-Heart Connectivity," in which more than 60 scholars from about 10 countries and regions shared their views.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI. Li Xiangyang, director-general of National Institute of International Strategy, CASS, stated in his opening remarks that during the past decade, the BRI has become the most popular global public goods and "the largest international cooperation platform." It also provides a new choice for overcoming and alleviating the deficit in peace, development, security and governance in the current global governance system."
Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo paid a state visit to China and attended the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. During his meeting with President Widodo, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China is ready to actively carry out exchanges and cooperation in the fields of food and agriculture technology, poverty alleviation, medical and health care, education, culture, tourism and youth. Widodo said he fully shares President Xi's views on the development of bilateral relations. 

Ambassador Oratmangun stated that in 2013, China and Indonesia established a comprehensive strategic partnership, and Indonesia was the place where President Xi first proposed the idea of jointly building a 21st century Maritime Silk Road. "This year not only marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI but also the first decade of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership," he said. Ambassador Oratmangun gave examples of specific practical cooperation projects between China and Indonesia under the BRI, such as the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway and the regional comprehensive economic corridor. With the impetus of the BRI, China and Indonesia aim to create synergy and generate more multiplier effects, he added.
The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway officially commenced commercial operations on October 17. As the first high-speed railway in Indonesia, it is a prime example of the "Hard Connectivity" of the BRI, Ambassador Oratmangun noted. He also mentioned that he has personally experienced the train three times. The journey that used to take three hours now only takes less than 40 minutes. 

High-speed railways also bring benefits to other regional countries. Long Guoqiang, vice president of the Development Research Center of the State Council, stated at the forum that the construction of the China-Laos railway under the BRI has transformed Laos from a "land-locked country" to a "land-linked country," which has significant implications for the export of Laotian agricultural products.
In terms of "Soft Connectivity" and "Heart-to-Heart Connectivity," Gladden J. Pappin, president of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, said that the cooperation within the framework of the BRI respects national sovereignty and provides a good platform. "It's not a mandatory global program. It's an opportunity that everyone can participate in. It should reflect the national culture and national priorities. And we should find as many ways as possible for those to connect," he said.

Ambassador Oratmangun concluded by stating that in the past 10 years the BRI has connected with many participating partners. Over the next 10 years, the impact of the BRI will continue to be meaningful and high quality.