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Japan, China vie to build high-speed rail in Indonesia

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Staff writer ▼ | August 12, 2015
Indonesia’s top development official said the government is studying proposals from Japan and China for construction of a high-speed rail line and expects to announce the outcome later this month.
Indonesia train
Rail transport   Andrinof Chaniago of Indonesia
Andrinof Chaniago, the national development planning minister, told reporters Tuesday that a decision on which proposal to accept could be made in about two weeks.

The high-speed line, which will connect the capital Jakarta with Bandung, is part of Indonesia’s 750-km high-speed train project that would cut across four provinces on the main island of Java and end in the country’s second-largest city of Surabaya.

President Joko Widodo has ambitious plans to improve Indonesia’s infrastructure, which could boost manufacturing and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Officials have said that the final proposals made by regional rivals China and Japan followed intense high-level lobbying efforts as the two countries compete for political and commercial influence in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Both countries have substantial expertise in high-speed trains, though China is a late-comer to the industry compared with Japan.