One of the key factors driving the bilateral relationship between the two countries is the growing influx of the skilled labor force being supplied from Indonesia to Japan. “We are concentrating on contributing to the improvement of technical education and its availability,” explained Masafumi Ishii, Japan’s ambassador to Indonesia. “These factors will solidify in establishing effective and beneficial connections between our nations in the long run.”
Throughout the course of their collaboration, one of the most distinct symbols of their successful joint ventures is the completion of the 2019 Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project in Jakarta. “We are now nearing the second phase of the MRT’s expansion as we enhance the North-South line, followed by the East-West line,” explained Ishii. As the project draws closer to its conclusion, both nations look forward to mutual gains. “Japan is eager to help Indonesia advance in any possible way,” he continued.
The chief representative of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Indonesia, Shinichi Yamanaka also cited Japan’s vast expertise in transportation, which has empowered and mobilized connectivity throughout Indonesia. “The new Patimban port being constructed in West Java aims to further improve export and import capabilities to Indonesia and Jakarta, giving companies more dependable logistic options for shipping.”
For Indonesia, it’s important to note that last year’s net investments from Japan clocked in at a grand total of USD 8.3 billion — making them the largest investor in the country. As infrastructure continues to improve, these figures are estimated to increase accordingly.
“Japanese companies contribute to twenty five percent of the total exports from Indonesia, which is evidence of the planned and executed operational success to diversify the scope of this sector.”
With regards to market growth and economic potential, JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) conducted a research study among twenty countries in the ASEAN region and found that Indonesia ranked number two, followed by India. In line with this, more than fifty percent of Japanese companies in Indonesia are forecasted to increase business operations in the following 24 months.
Having relatively young investors, JETRO Jakarta sees certain areas of improvement in the Indonesian market. Its President Director, Keishi Suzuki said that they are working hand-in-hand with all Japanese companies and government organisations in Indonesia as they continue to attract new Japanese investments into the country, one of which is through business matching. “Globally, JETRO adjusts medium- and long-term strategies every four to five years and identifies an opportunity in the growing start-up market.”
“Through these efforts, we present a united front for more holistic communication with local ministries and a more effective implementation of solutions to effectively address any areas of concern we could identify.”
Meanwhile, JJC (Jakarta Japan Club) has proposed a policy that aims to bolster the expansion of domestic markets in the country, which could position Indonesia as a more competitive player worldwide.
However, their contribution does not end there. JJC Chairman Kanji Tojo shared the issues Japan faced in the past which they successfully resolved.
“Through technological development and education, many of these problems were resolved and this knowledge can be transferred by Japanese companies and utilized to assist Indonesia in addressing similar issues they are currently facing.”
“This transfer of expertise will aid both Indonesia and Japan’s current situations, opening doors for people in Japan and also further developing the skills of the Indonesian people,” concluded Yamanaka.