Indonesian President Inaugurates Southeast Asia's First High-Speed Railway

  • 03 Oct 2023

On 2nd Oct, Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially launched Southeast Asia's inaugural high-speed railway, marking a significant milestone in China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Key Points

  • Inauguration: Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated the high-speed railway project on its 276th Annual Day celebration.
  • Significant Initiative: This high-speed railway project is a crucial component of China's Belt and Road initiative.
  • Project Costs and Delays: The project, with a total cost of $7.3 billion, faced delays and cost overruns, raising concerns about its commercial viability.
  • Joint Venture: The railway was constructed by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China (PT KCIC), a joint venture between Indonesian state-owned companies and China Railway International Co. Ltd.
  • Connectivity: The railway connects Jakarta with Bandung, reducing the travel time between the two cities from three hours to about 40 minutes.
  • Environmental Impact: The use of electrical energy in the railway is expected to contribute to reduced carbon emissions.
  • Technology Transfer: Indonesia and China agreed on technology transfer to enable the domestic production of high-speed trains in the future.
  • Belt and Road Initiative: China's Belt and Road initiative aims to enhance connectivity and trade across Southeast Asia, attracting investment and infrastructure development.
  • Laos-China Railway: A semi-high-speed railway linking China with Laos was inaugurated in December 2021, financed primarily by China under the Belt and Road policy, with plans for further expansion into Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.