One decade BRI: China’s investment in Indonesia still dominated by fossil fuels

Jakarta – China’s investment in Indonesia between 2006 and 2022 reached USD 35 billion, a quarter of which was channelled into the energy sector. However, 86 per cent of that amount is still allocated to the fossil fuel energy industry. The fact was discussed in a dialogue marking the decade anniversary of the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) alongside the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Indonesia.

The dialogue, held in early October, was organised in collaboration with Kemenko Marves, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), the international environmental law NGO ClientEarth, and BRIGDC, a policy dialogue and communication platform comprising various stakeholders in China. This dialogue was conducted to understand the development of Indonesia and China, especially in the sustainable energy and manufacturing industry.

The discussion addressed strengthening the high-level renewable energy (NRE) partnership between China and Indonesia through developing a joint long-term strategy, finalising bilateral agreements, exploring innovative mechanisms and financing structures to enhance green project pathways and BRI pilot zones and demonstration projects, as well as deepening exchanges and exploring further integration with ASEAN regional strategies.

IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa said there is a considerable investment opportunity between Indonesia and China to accelerate Indonesia’s energy system’s green and low-carbon transition.

“President Xi Jinping, at the 76th United Nations General Assembly, announced that China will increase support for other developing countries in developing environmentally friendly and low-carbon energy and will not build coal-fired power plant projects abroad,” he said.

Tumiwa said one of the five proposals President Xi Jinping made on the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations was to jointly promote regional energy transition, discuss the establishment of a China-ASEAN clean energy cooperation centre, and enhance technology sharing in renewable energy. Then, intensify cooperation in green finance and investment to support low-carbon and sustainable development at the regional level. (Hartatik)

Banner photo: Indonesia’s first high-speed train, Whoosh, a project under the Belt and Road Initiative. 26 September 2023. Ahmad Dwi Cahyadi/

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