Oliver Dixon, Jakarta – The Polish embassy has sent a team to the site of Indonesia's yet-to-be-built new capital city Nusantara in East Kalimantan to get a better understanding of the project and consider taking part in all types of projects surrounding the new city, an envoy said in a recent interview.
Poland is also aiming for major infrastructure projects in Indonesia including power plants, the railway system, and the maritime sector.
With investments surrounding the construction of the new capital Nusantara coming from across the world, Poland is "observing very carefully" Nusantara's construction, Polish Ambassador to Indonesia Beata Stoczy?ska told the Jakarta Globe.
"We see that Indonesia is looking for bigger investors, like China, Japan, or South Korea, but there is a lot of space for other countries," she said.
Although there have not been any major announcements of Polish investment into Nusantara yet, Stoczy?ska said she hopes Polish investors will take part in what is arguably Indonesia's largest infrastructural project ever.
"Other countries like Poland, can be subcontractors who can export some technologies, IT solutions, or build roads and trains. So absolutely we are ready," she said.
Poland has previously committed itself to large projects in Indonesia such as the construction of a 2 x 50-megawatt power plant in Lombok which is scheduled to be completed in 2023, showing that Poland is serious about investing in Indonesian infrastructure.
"Our cooperation is based on good, solid political dialogue. Our priority is to increase economic cooperation, and trade investment," she said. "Of course, cultural connections, public diplomacy, and education are also very important, but the priority is in the economy today."
Poland has been particularly focused on the transportation sector in Indonesia by encouraging its railway sector companies to invest and work on infrastructure projects around Indonesia as well as other ASEAN countries.
Expansion in the maritime sector is set to become a large topic of discussion as the Polish embassy seeks to restart talks from before the pandemic about bringing companies from Poland into the sector.
"This year we would like to focus on the maritime sector as Poland is famous and very experienced in the area," the ambassador said.
"We have many shipyards, and we still build ships, ports, ferries, and boats. And Indonesia needs more ports, more ships, more boats to make better connections between its many islands," she added.
Bilateral trade talks slowed over the pandemic as countries around the world focused on domestic policy, however with the world re-opening Stoczy?ska expressed confidence that the positive historic relationship between Poland and Indonesia would bring strong investments from Poland.
Poland's agricultural sector is also hopeful to boost food product exports such as apples and berries to Indonesia with further talks between Polish and Indonesian ministers being scheduled to take place later this year.
"We are expecting a rezone delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture to Indonesia, and I do hope that they will sit together and plan to establish a special working committee to push the export of Polish food products from Poland," she said.
These talks will be taking place while Indonesia is also in the process of discussing a free trade agreement with the European Union that Stoczy?ska is hopeful will be successful.
"I do hope that when we finally sign this agreement, there will be more possibilities for exchange of trade and that it will be much easier for Polish, German or Czech companies to deal with Indonesia," she said.
Poland is Indonesia's largest trading partner in central Europe with bilateral trade between the countries exceeding $1.2 billion in value in 2022 and has helped open up gateways for both countries in terms of their global ambitions.
The positive relationship between the two countries helped Poland get invited by the Indonesian government to various events such as the G20 summit in Bali which ambassador Stoczy?ska was "very grateful" for.
Poland has had ambitions to join the G20 since 2009 as its GDP is currently ranked at 21 among the major economies. There have been growing calls to remove Russia from the G20 since it invaded Ukraine in 2022, potentially opening a space for Poland to join.