Indonesia’s Ambassador to China: B&R can build trust between people

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, 11 01, 2017 Great to hear that. Other than the infrastructure projects we just talked about, what other major cooperation projects between our two countries have been or will be implemented in areas like trade, culture, education and tourism? What are the current prospects for those projects?

Soegeng Rahardjo: As I mentioned earlier, our relations should not only be focused on physical and on institutional connectivity, but the Belt and Road Initiative should also be focused on people-to-people contact, especially the connectivity of minds. I think this is quite important, in order to design the Belt and Road Initiative, in order to contribute to education and culture especially. Through this kind of cooperation between Indonesia and China, we believe that Indonesia and China will move onto other steps of cooperation, because through people to people contacts and connectivity of the minds, I think misunderstandings among people can be converted to a greater understanding. We can build trust between people, especially between Indonesian people and Chinese people. That’s why we need the Belt and Road Initiative focused not only on infrastructure investments but I would like to see it also give attention to the connectivity of minds because this will promote understanding among people in the region. As we know, many people in China are very interested in going to Indonesia for travel, sightseeing and so on. Do we have any other plans to promote tourism between our two countries in the future?

Soegeng Rahardjo: Yes. Not only in the future. I would like to share with you that nowadays, Indonesia receives almost 2 million visitors from China each year. Last year’s number was 1.4 million. The highest number of tourist visitors to Indonesia comes from China nowadays. In order to increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Indonesia, Indonesia now focuses on promoting our destinations. Our destinations not only include Bali, there are also so many attractive tourist destinations in Indonesia that can provide more choices for Chinese tourists to Indonesia.

Second, we will establish more city airports; our flights will fly between China and Indonesia. For an example, there are only four major cities with flights, from Beijing to Jakarta, Beijing to Bali, Shanghai to Jakarta, Shanghai to Bali, Guangzhou to Jakarta, and Guangzhou to Bali. Last May, I inaugurated a new city: from Chengdu to Bali. Recently, in order to send two giant pandas to Indonesia, there was a flight from Chengdu to Jakarta. This is also an attraction for tourism. There are so many activities we would like to do in order to attract Chinese tourists to Indonesia and Indonesia tourists to China. I think this is not only the future; right now we are already working very intensely in order to promote tourist destinations in China. And I believe our colleagues from China will do the same for Indonesia.

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