President Joko Widodo, right, greets US President Joe Biden during a bilateral meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, on November 14, 2022. (Antara Photo)

Biden Approves Maritime Surveillance Drone Program for Indonesia

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

Bali. US President Joe Biden on Monday approved an initiative to support the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency, or Bakamla, in the maritime surveillance drone program.

The initiative will enable Bakamla to procure drones, pilot training, and maintenance that will significantly enhance the agency’s capabilities related to maritime domain awareness, maritime law enforcement, and countering illegal fishing, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Jakarta.

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Biden arrived in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali to participate in the G20 Summit and had a bilateral meeting with President Joko Widodo.

The embassy said that in the fiscal year 2022 alone, the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) are planning to provide Indonesia with more than $150 million in bilateral development and security assistance.

The Coast Guard Capacity-Building program is one of a series of initiatives the Biden administration is willing to work together with the Indonesian government.

Biden also announced the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, in which both countries have “successfully concluded negotiations to launch a $698 million MCC Compact, supported with $649 million from the United States and $49 million from Indonesia”. 

“The Compact will support the development of high-quality, climate-conscious transportation infrastructure in five provinces; mobilize international capital in support of Indonesia’s development goals, in part by building the capacity of Indonesia’s financial markets; and increase access to finance for Indonesia’s women-owned businesses and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises,” the US Embassy said.

In addition, the US International Development Finance Corporation will invest $20 million in Indonesia’s Aruna Global Technologies to connect Indonesia’s small-scale rural fishers to the global market through innovative technology platforms that empower women and marginalized communities, drive down food costs, and increase resilience in food supply chains in the second-largest fishing industry in the world.

The US government also supports the planned relocation of the Indonesian capital to a new city in East Kalimantan called Nusantara.

“USAID is partnering with the Ibu Kota Nusantara Authority – founded by President Widodo to oversee the relocation of the Indonesian capital – to provide project management support and technical assistance on the new capital’s development, with a focus on smart city and “Forest City” principles,” the embassy said.

Other initiatives include sustainable fishing and marine biodiversity, a carbon capture program, measures against plastic pollution, public transit assistance in Jakarta, and the so-called “Renewstable” energy program -- which combines renewable energy with battery and green hydrogen-backed storage to deliver stable and reliable power to electricity grids.

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