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Singapore, Indonesia eye industrial parks, cruise tourism, energy sector

There are specific sectors that the two countries are looking at as part of the follow-up for bilateral cooperation, Mr Iswaran said.


SINGAPORE hopes to develop cruise tourism, industrial parks and energy cooperation with Indonesia as part of bilateral plans to enhance business connections between the countries, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said on Tuesday in Jakarta.

Those areas were picked as a follow-up to a November meeting between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, during which both sides agreed to set up a business council to boost bilateral cooperation and enhance networking among businesses.

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"There are specific sectors which we are looking at as part of the follow-up," Mr Iswaran said on a visit to EV Hive, a co-working space in Jakarta that is backed by venture capital.

Cruise tourism offers potential for regional collaboration as interest in the region's attractions and islands grow, he said.

"There's a lot of interest, and already some of it is taking place now, for cruising in South-east Asia. So Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and so on, and in Singapore many of the international cruise companies are already home-porting, and they want to see how they can create more interesting itineraries," Mr Iswaran said.

In terms of industrial parks, both Singapore and Indonesia will try to attract investors, develop supporting infrastructure and raise the capability of local workers.

"The focus here is to make them successful," he said.

In terms of energy cooperation, Indonesia's plan to improve energy accessibility offers opportunities.

"Some of our companies are keen to be involved in some of the efforts, whether it's in terms of small-scale LNG, possibly in renewable energy and solar projects and so on," Mr Iswaran said.