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Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan makes first overseas visit to Indonesia and visits the new ‘Jakarta Smart City Lounge’

Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, made his first overseas visit to Indonesia this past week.

He met with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, his foreign affairs counterpart Retno Marsudi, and Indonesian government leaders of ICT initiatives.

The Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Cahaya Purnama, welcomed the Singapore Foreign Minister, Mr. Vivian Balakrishnan and the Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Anil Kumar Nayar, on 12th January 2016.

They visited the Smart City Centre to look at the start-up business which supported the centre activities and the Jakarta’s public service capabilities. 

The Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore said that Singapore’s Foreign Minister and Indonesian Ambassador never expected Jakarta would be be able to monitor the activities throughout the Smart City Centre.

 “The Foreign Minister said it’s very impressive, he never expected Jakarta to have such capabilities from tackling flood, traffic jams from the Smart City Centre,” stated the Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore,

“Minister Balakrishnan also understands IT, hence he asked a lot of detailed questions about how to manage the data and how the Governor gives direction for the staff on the field to act on the problems.”

After his meetings, Minister Balakrishnan wrote the following on his Facebook page:

Wearing my “Smart Nation” hat, I discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of ICT and the digital economy with Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Rudiantara. I mentioned to him how Singapore companies based in Indonesia may offer opportunities to talented students from Indonesian educational institutions in the field of digital technology and ICT.

This afternoon, I caught up with Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. We last met in Singapore in October 2015. We continued our conversations about Jakarta and where we could do more together. Governor Basuki kindly brought me on a tour of the Jakarta City Hall and briefed me on the operations of the Jakarta Smart City Lounge. What was truly impressive was not just the technology, but the passion and energy of the many young people trying out new ideas with open data in government.

Image from Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan's Facebook

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