Sat, 23 Aug 2003

U.S. gives grants for RI's compliance with APEC trade initiative

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded US$845,000 in grants for two transportation security projects to help Indonesia comply with the Secure Trade in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), or STAR, initiative.

U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Ralph L. Boyce, on behalf of the USTDA, said the grants were just part of a series of concrete measures to be taken in aviation and maritime transportation to achieve security goals identified by APEC leaders.

He said these goals included screening people and cargo for security before transit, increasing en route security on ships and airplanes, and enhancing security in airports and seaports, all while increasing the flow and efficiency of trade.

Boyce, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, director general of sea communications Tjuk Sukardiman and Batam Industrial Development Authority chairman Ismet Abdullah signed the grant agreement on Friday.

The first grant of $555,000 will be used to provide technical assistance for Indonesia's main port Tanjung Priok, to help develop information technology (IT) infrastructure to integrate and coordinate government IT functions, including customs and immigration.

The project will also help the port target high-risk shipments and deter maritime piracy through electronic customs data reporting.

The second grant, totaling $290,000, will fund technical assistance to support a comprehensive security assessment of the Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam.

A USTDA-funded consultant will identify the airport's security weaknesses and help to develop an overall security plan, including recommendations for personnel training, security equipment and procedures.