– October was significant for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the forum and the launch of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway.
– The railway cuts travel time from Jakarta to Bandung and has potential for Indonesian industry.
– The rush to start construction led to issues with permits and land acquisition.
– There were also problems with the environmental impact assessment, causing damage to local communities.
– The project’s cost grew from $5.5 billion to $7.2 billion, leading to concerns about its sustainability and the government’s decision to fund it through Presidential Regulation No.93/2021.
– With the potential relocation of the capital, the railway’s demand and financial sustainability are uncertain.
– The Indonesian government plans to extend the railway, which will require a joint study with China Railway Group.
– To improve project outcomes, the Asia Society Policy Institute created a Belt and Road Initiative Toolkit in multiple languages with best practices for conducting environmental impact assessments and stakeholder engagement for infrastructure projects.

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