Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - China
and Indonesia signed deals potentially worth US$ 17.4 billion on Friday in the
fields of mining, hydropower and steel during a two-day visit by Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Beijing.
"I am happy to hear of the
business agreements between Indonesia and China, which are an indication of the
growing cooperation between the two countries," President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono told the press.
In the morning, the Indonesian
leader met with Wan Jifei, head of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of
International Trade. He also received an honorary doctorate from Tsinghua
University, one of China's foremost universities.
The deals signed include a
technical cooperation agreement between Indonesia's state-owned steel company
PT Krakatau Steel and China's Capital Engineering and Research Inc. Ltd., as well
as a deal to lend US$ 200 million in long-term credit to finance the
construction of Krakatau's blast furnace complex. Other agreements are in
agriculture and textiles.
For Beijing, Indonesia is a
growth market with which it can strengthen economic and trade cooperation. It is
also of strategic interest to cooperate with Jakarta to maintain stability in
the Asia-Pacific region
Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said
he was happy with the business deals, which could compensate for last year's trade
deficit with China, which analysts blamed on the "problematic" Free
Trade Agreement (FTA) between the ten-nation ASEAN and mainland China.