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Timor Leste puts trust in Indonesian state enterprises: Jokowi

Jakarta Globe - January 26, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo thanked Timor Leste's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao on Friday after the close neighbor trusted Indonesia's state enterprises to partake in its infrastructure projects.

Xanana is currently in Indonesia for a meeting with Jokowi at the Bogor Palace. The talks covered many areas, including economic cooperation. Indonesian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been winning contracts to build infrastructure project contracts in Timor Leste.

As a case in point, state-owned construction firm Waskita Karya earned a contract to extend the runway at the Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport, also known as the Dili Airport.

The company's concrete maker subsidiary Waskita Beton Precast received an order to supply its products to the Oecusse road project. Although Jokowi did not say Waskita by name, the president mentioned the above projects during his joint press statement with Xanana.

"I appreciate Timor Leste's trust in Indonesian SOEs by involving them in many projects. This includes the road project in Oecusse and the Dili airport expansion," Jokowi told Xanana.

According to Jokowi, both leaders had agreed to bolster economic cooperation. He added: "I do welcome Timor-Leste's commitment to improve the investment climate through a treaty aimed to protect investment."

Waskita Karya has earned a contract to expand Dili Airport's runway, while also constructing its taxiways, the control tower, and aircraft parking areas, according to the Timor-Leste government's official website. Waskita will expand the current runway from 1,850 meters to 2,100 meters. In 2022, Timor Leste appointed Waskita Karya as the winner of the $22.1 million Noefefan-Oenuno road project in Oecusse.

Waskita Beton Precast last September announced it had secured a contract worth Rp 7.8 billion (approximately $493,497 by the current exchange rate) to supply girders for the Tono-Noefefan Bridge-Oenuno do Oecusse road project. To meet these orders, Waskita Beton Precast said at the time it would make use of its Prambon plant which has an annual production capacity of 425,000 tons. A girder is a thick piece of concrete that supports a road and other large structures.

Last year, Indonesia and Timor Leste agreed to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty. Such a pact aims to offer legal protection and business certainty for Indonesian investors when investing in Timor Leste and vise versa.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/timor-leste-puts-trust-in-indonesian-state-enterprises-jokow