Czech Republic eyes Indonesian rail schemes

The Czech Republic is hoping to capitalise on its rail expertise by joining the race to win work in Indonesia – a market that has, up until now, been dominated by China and Japan.

The case for Czech technology was put by a trade delegation led by Milan Stech, the president of the Czech senate.

Among the projects that Czechs are hoping to join is a 25km rail link between New Yogyakarta International Airport (NYIA), presently under construction on the south coast of central Java, and Yogyakarta Station – more commonly known as Tugu Station.

Stech and his representatives from the chamber of commerce travelled to Yogyakarta yesterday (19 September) to meet Hamengkubuwono X, the governor of the Yogyakarta Special Region.

For its part, Indonesia is hoping to benefit from technology transfers from the Czechs in rolling stock and the design of rail systems, which it will use to develop its own railway export industry.  

After the meeting the governor said there may be an opportunity for the Czech Republic to help Indonesia’s state-owned railway KAI build a line "from the NYIA airport to Tugu Station, or from Yogyakarta to Borobudur".

Michal Srefl, the vice president of the Czech chamber of commerce, said Czech industry could supply electrification and the design of rail systems at competitive prices. He said: "Although the Czech Republic belongs to Eastern Europe, we can compete with regard to prices. The price can be cheaper."

The Czech side will now send experts to carry out a study of the project.

Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia’s minister for industry, said the two sides could also cooperate on other manufacturing sectors, particularly rubber processing, wooden furniture, pulp and textiles. He said the Czech Republic and Indonesia should establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to expand cooperation.

Image: A Skoda 7Ev in action (Lasy/Creative Commons)

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