Indonesia offered CN-235 Military Airbus to the Philippines and call for Investments

The CASA/IPTN CN-235 is a medium-range twin-engined transport plane that was jointly developed by CASA of Spain and Indonesian manufacturer IPTN, as a regional airliner and military transport. Its primary military roles include maritime patrol, surveillance, and air transport. Its largest user is Turkey which has 61 aircraft. The project was a joint venture between Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) and Indonesian Aerospace (PT. Dirgantara Indonesia), formerly known as IPTN, which formed Airtech to manage the programme. The partnership applied only to the Series 10 and Series 100/110, with later versions being developed independently. Over 230 of all versions of CN-235 are in service and have accumulated more than 500,000 flight hours. Primary users are Spanish Air Force, Turkish Air Force, Indonesian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force and Irsih Air Corps

A government minister has called on several Indonesian industries to look for potential in the Philippines and benefit from the country's strong growth momentum.

State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said government-backed plantation companies and lenders and state-controlled aircraft maker Dirgantara Indonesia can expand to the Philippines, where the economy grew 7.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013, driven by growth in services and industry.

It was the fastest growth since 2010 and faster than Indonesia's 6.2 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2013.

"I met President [Benigno] Aquino. He emphasized his country's robust economic growth," Dahlan told reporters in his office in Jakarta on Friday.

Last week, Indonesian envoys, including  Dahlan, presidential special advisor T.B. Silalahi and Ambassador to the Philippines Yohanes Kristiato Soeryo Legowa were received by Aquino III at the Malacanang Palace in Manila.

Officials from both countries discussed possible enhancements in bilateral cooperation, including in trade and investment.

Dahlan said that the Philippines is particularly interested in Indonesia's successful development of the palm oil industry, where production has surpassed Malaysia's.

Indonesia is now the biggest palm oil producer in the world.

"The reason is because our palm oil industry is the biggest [in the world], they are also amazed that our companies can develop palm plantations that can start bearing fruits at the age of two-and-a-half years, instead of seven years, as in most cases," Dahlan said.

He added that a joint venture was possible given the Philippines is committed to providing up to 20,000 hectares of land in the country for Indonesian state-owned plantation firms.

In the plantation sector alone Indonesia hosts at least 18 state companies involved in the production of various commodities, including crude palm oil, rubber, coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, tobacco and tea. The combined assets of the companies are estimated at $5.6 billion.

In the banking sector, the Philippines is offering Indonesian state lenders the opportunity to open Islamic banking services within the country to help serve the minority Islamic population residing mostly in the nation's southern territories.

Indonesian state lenders Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia each have Shariah units.

Dahlan also promoted Dirgantara Indonesia's aircrafts, including the CN-235, NC-212 and CN-295 models.

One of DI's latest products, the CN-295 military transportation aircraft jointly manufactured with Spain-based Airbus Military, is believed to match the defense needs of the Philippines.

The aircraft, which can serve to transport troops and cargo, conduct medical evacuations and maritime patrols, is seen to be suitable for the Philippines, which, like Indonesia, is an archipelago nation.

With report from Investor Daily and Jakarta Globe

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