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December 23, 2008

Indonesia, China sign energy, trade deals worth $4b
Indonesia and China signed energy and trade deals worth more than four billion dollars on Monday during a visit by Chinese First Vice Premier Li Keqiang, reported AFP.

Li, who is in Indonesia for a four-day official trip, paid a visit to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after witnessing the signing of the deals which included plans to build three coal-fired power plants in Indonesia.

"It is our hope that the memoranda of understanding that we have signed are not just verbal agreements but are acknowledged as concrete actions that will be carried out through cooperative projects," Li said.

Among the agreements are deals for the Export-Import Bank of China to provide a $482 million loan to develop a plant in West Java and another $293 million loan for a plant in East Java, Indonesian Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said.

The China National Technical Import and Export Corporation will also build a $605 million, 660-megawatt coal-fuelled power plant in Cilacap, Central Java.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said earlier that the two countries had also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a one billion dollar loan from the China Export Bank to allow Indonesia to buy Chinese goods including machinery and steel.

The Chinese government "is also committed to developing the energy sector in Indonesia and this MoU we hope will speed up that process," he said.

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