President Director of PT Bank Central Asia Tbk (BCA) Jahja Setiaatmadja talks during an analyst meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Indonesia has requested special funding from China within President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for an improved correlation with loans that are linked with BRI projects.

Indonesia has not benefited fully from China’s trillion dollar push to establish a modernized Silk Road. Indonesia says this is by virtue of them insisting that any loan within the BRI is done on a business to business footing to avoid exposing the government in case of delinquency. President Jinping has welcomed the request and says that China is ready to assist Indonesia in executing development.

Prior to the request, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs in Indonesia, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, says that Indonesia offered China 30 BRI projects that are estimated to be worth $91 billion with prospects. During the G20 Summit in Japan, President Joko Widodo made the request to Jinping amid a meeting. Indonesia’s request features flourishing ambition by BRI members to transmute loan arrangements and expenditure tools to work in their favour.

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Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is entrusted with the task of proposing the intensity of the fund, along with the costs, fund arrangements and criteria that would come for it. China asserts that it can assemble on considerable advantages it has with the subregion, from geographic closeness or Indonesia’s geo-political bargaining chip that comes with considerable growing influence. 

Furthermore, 23 MOU’s have been signed by China and Indonesia on investment and trade cooperation. Within the framework of the BRI, Indonesia has developed a relationship and cooperation with China, thus the expansion in bilateral relations between the two countries have helped intensify China’s partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). One of the cooperation contracts consists of four economic passageways, the development of research of education and the rapid train research and technology cooperation.

China is Indonesia’s biggest trade partner, overall trade between the two countries attained over the last seven years is $63.3 billion, these results are from a variation of projects such as the high-speed train Jakarta-Bandung and the construction of parks. In addition, the $1.5 billion hydropower plant project funded by the Chinese Development Bank, and is being constructed by Sinohydro a Chinese state business, in the Batang Toru is still underway. 11% of the  construction has been finished and is due to commence activity by 2020. Despite the controversy that comes with some of the projects that were proposed by Indonesia to China, there is optimism that China’s BRI will yield more opportunities and aid to Indonesia and other countries along the BRI framework.