A trade delegation from the Czech Republic has expressed interest in developing an airport train project at New Yogyakarta International Airport, which is currently under construction in Kulonprogo. (Antara Photo/Andreas Fitri Atmoko)

Czechs Express Interest in Yogyakarta Airport Train Project

SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

Jakarta. A trade delegation from the Czech Republic has expressed interest in developing an airport train project at New Yogyakarta International Airport, which is currently under construction in Kulonprogo.

The delegation, led by Milan Stech, president of Czech senate, and Czech Ambassador Ivan Hotec, conveyed its intention in a meeting with Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono on Wednesday (19/09).

"This will open a big opportunity to start cooperation between the Czech Republic and [state-owned rail operator] Kereta Api Indonesia to build railways from the new airport to Tugu Station, and between Yogyakarta and Borobudur," the governor said.

Members of Czech Chamber of Commerce and representatives of several of the country's banks also met with representatives of the Yogyakarta branch of the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), Kereta Api Indonesia and state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I.

Kadin Yogyakarta chairman G.K.R. Mangkubumi said the chamber also offered other strategic projects in the region, including the management of Tanjung Adikarto Port, the development of Sardjito Public Hospital and other facilities that will be built near the new airport.

"Kereta Api Indonesia knows what to do, since the Czech Republic has great train factories," Mangkubumi said.

Czech Chamber of Commerce vice president Michal Srefl said their members are willing to participate in large projects in Yogyakarta, since the Central European country has advanced factories for infrastructure-related needs. Stech said it was possible for Czech companies to supply various necessities, from train power sources to railway construction designs, at competitive prices.

New Yogyakarta International Airport is scheduled to become operational next year with building and runway construction currently underway. The airport will replace the overcrowded Adisutjipto International Airport, which now handles more than 6 million passengers per year – four times more than its design capacity.

Budi Wibowo assistant to the Yogyakarta regional secretary for development affairs, said the local government plans to build a railway from New Yogyakarta International Airport in Kulonprogo to Tugu Station in downtown Yogyakarta. The railway is expected to assist passenger mobility and also transport ore from Jogja Magasa Iron's mine in the area, he said.

The Czechs will soon send experts to carry out a site inspection, Budi added.

Nathan M. Siahaan, a deputy executive vice president of Kereta Api Indonesia's sixth operational region, said the company is still assessing the Czech offers and has yet to decide what part of the railway project can be undertaken by foreign companies.

During a meeting with the Czech delegation on Monday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Indonesia was committed to strengthening bilateral cooperation on trade and industry. But he asked the Czech Republic to help Indonesia promote palm oil in Europe and oppose campaign aimed at ending imports of the commodity.

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