Friday, February 23, 2024

Indonesia extends investment invitation to Saudi Arabia for strategic airport ventures

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Budi Karya Sumadi, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, has extended an investment invitation to Saudi Arabia. The proposal involves Saudi Arabia becoming a shareholder and operator in Indonesia’s airports dedicated to Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. 

The offer was conveyed during Budi Karya’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics, Saleh Al-Jasser, in Riyadh. Highlighting the robust bilateral relations in the transportation sector. 

Budi Karya emphasized the potential for collaboration in Hajj flights and the urban transportation sector. The investment in pilgrimage airports is seen as a strategic move to enhance the traffic flow from Jeddah and Madinah to Indonesia.

“There are numerous opportunities for cooperation, particularly in Hajj flights and urban transportation development,” stated Budi on December 4, 2023.

The discussion also delved into potential collaboration between Saudi Arabian and Indonesian airlines. Budi Karya proposed exploring a joint venture to serve domestic routes, aiming to increase the availability of aircraft to meet domestic market demands.

Furthermore, Budi Karya sought support from Saudi Arabia to help Indonesian airlines secure an additional 20,000 Hajj slot times in 2024.

In the maritime sector, both countries recently signed an MoU on the Recognition of Standard Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarer Certificates. This collaboration aims to establish mutual recognition between the two nations concerning maritime education, seafarer competency certificates, and health certificates for working aboard ships, aligning with international standards.

Addressing urban transportation, Saudi Arabia is currently actively developing public transportation in cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Madinah, Dammam, and Qatif. 

This mirrors Indonesia’s efforts in developing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), and the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train. Budi Karya invited Saudi Arabia to participate in Indonesia’s railway infrastructure projects.

On the flip side, the Saudi Arabian government hopes Indonesia will promote the use of the Haramain high-speed railway for the Madinah-Jeddah-Mecca route, aiming to enhance services for Indonesian Hajj/Umrah pilgrims. 

Following the meeting with Minister Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister Budi Karya conducted an inspection of the Riyadh Metro Rapid Transit project, currently in the testing phase.

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