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China-Indonesia 'Two Countries, Twin Parks' Project Offers Good Example for Cooperation under BRI

Source: Global Times | 2023-05-29 08:31   Click:

Cargo ships load containers at Jiangyin Port in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province, on June 28, 2022. Photo: VCG


Chen Zhijin, a representative of JD Yuanhong Food Digital Economy Industry Center, never thought the center's food products are being shipped to Indonesia so sooner after the company was established.

Chen's company is located in the Yuanhong Investment Zone, a Chinese park which is part of the bilateral "Two Countries, Twin Parks" project with Indonesia, located in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province.

Boosted by the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chen's company is a model firm within the investment zone, serving as an example in deepening China-Indonesia trade and economic cooperation.

As more and more China-Indonesia collaboration projects take shape, successful business operations are singled out which are expected to be promoted to other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, Chinese analysts said.

China and Indonesia have seen rapid expansion of cooperation from trade to investment during the past 10 years, Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The "Two Countries, Twin Parks" project is an important part among the high-quality cooperation between the two nations under BRI, Xu said. Regarding the exploitation of marine resources, China and Indonesia have their own unique advantages.

In January 2021, China's Ministry of Commerce, Fujian Province and Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment signed a MoU on "Two Countries, Two Parks" project, in which the two sides agree to advance bilateral friendly cooperation, based on equality and mutual benefit.

Industrial parks

China designated Yuanhong Investment Zone in Fuzhou, Fujian Province as the Chinese park, and Indonesian authorities selected the Bintan Industrial Estate, Aviarna Industrial Estate and Batang Industrial Estate collectively as the Indonesian park.

"Companies in the investment zone can receive maximum of 15 percentage points of income tax relief, and local customs authority is also planning favorable tariff treatment for the commodities imported from Indonesia," Chen told the Global Times.

JD's branch located in the Yuanhong Investment Zone is focusing on establishing a complete industrial chain for local food companies, including the import of raw materials from Indonesia, cold chain transport and storage, deep processing and retailing business.

"Indonesia and other ASEAN members have suitable natural resources for aquatic products and good climate for tropical fruits, which generate good opportunities for food processors in the Yuanhong Investment Zone," said Wei Song, general manager of public relations department of Fengda Group, a local food company in the investment zone.

Fengda was established in 2017, and plans to invest 10 billion yuan ($1.42 billion) in aquatic products processing and storage working closely with Indonesia.

Wei noted that Fengda Group is planning to build a special port for processing aquatic products in addition to two existing ports in the investment zone to meet increasing market demand.

In the export sector, the Yuanhong Investment Zone has deployed three international fishery industry centers overseas, with an investment of 5.3 billion yuan, according to the administrative committee of the zone.

JD in Yuanhong is adopting integrated industrial chain for aquatic food processing to be exported to Indonesia and other ASEAN markets.

The committee has recently confirmed 143 infrastructure projects, valued at accumulative 64.83 billion yuan, to shore up roads, telecom and other facilities in the zone, aimed to provide better business environment.

On May 19, a trade cooperation forum was held in Fuqing, Fujian Province, and enterprises from China and Indonesia clinched 10 contracts valued at 4.55 billion yuan, covering foreign trade, food processing and supply chain improvement.

Growing cooperation

Fujian provincial government is also enhancing the work to introduce more foreign investment. Since the beginning of 2023, local officials launched multiple business visits to Indonesia and facilitated 19 bilateral cooperation projects backed with 42.1 billion yuan of investment.

In the first four months of 2023, foreign trade between Fujian province and ASEAN hit 144.69 billion yuan, rising 19.7 percent over the same period last year. Fujian's foreign trade hit 639.43 billion yuan, up 9.5 percent year-on-year, local customs data showed.

"The large population of ASEAN offers a demographic dividend and consumption potential, as well as young workforce necessary for food processing, making cooperation with ASEAN sustainable," Chen said.

Further, Fuzhou city is taking measures to expand cooperation with ASEAN countries. The 2nd ASEAN-China Online Influencers Conference was held in Fuzhou from May 19 to 21, which aimed to explore more cooperation opportunities between China and ASEAN.

Djauhari Oratmangun, Ambassador of Indonesia to China, said in his speech during the opening ceremony of the conference that China and ASEAN have formed comprehensive strategic partnership, and the two sides are each other's largest trade partner. He said that cooperation in digital sector between China and ASEAN will advance.

As a sophisticated pattern that has kept evolving for years, the "Two Countries, Twin Parks" project has been built to become a shining example of the BRI.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced on May 15 that China will implement agreed tariff rates under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for certain imports from the Philippines starting on June 2, marking that the world's biggest free trade agreement will enter full force and bear more fruitful results.