City signs deal to strengthen trading links with Indonesia’s second largest city

Steve Rotheram

A two-year roadmap to forge closer links between the UK and Indonesia has concluded with Liverpool City Region signing a deal with Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city.

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, has penned a memorandum of understanding with the Mayor of Surabaya, Eri Cahyadi.

The agreement comes during the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UK and Indonesia.

Steve Rotheram said: “Our area has always been an open and outward looking place. Home to one of the world’s most famous port cities, few places make a more attractive partner to do business with – but it’s our unique strengths and assets that continue to attract interest from around the world.

“We already have a flourishing relationship with our friends in Surabaya and I’m looking forward to continuing to strengthen those ties, work towards our shared vision and build a stronger future for both our areas and the 5m people we represent.”

Surabaya is second in size after Indonesian capital, Jakarta, with a population of more than three million and an economy growing by more than five per cent each year.

Surabaya’s port, Tanjung Perak , is considered the gateway to Eastern Indonesia and handles more than 32 million tonnes of cargo a year. It is a similar size to the Port of Liverpool, which handles 45% of the UK’s trade from the United States.

Liverpool and Surabaya became ‘sister cities’ in March 2018, the first UK/Indonesia city relationship and this signing marks a second five-year period of deeper and further collaboration.

Local partners across the city region are already working with partners in Surabaya, including Tranmere Rovers Football Club, St Vincent’s School for the Visually Impaired and Liverpool John Moores University.

Tranmere Rovers FC is working with Surabaya State University and has visited with players and coaches to develop football skills.

St Vincent’s School, in Liverpool, has hosted Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rishmaharini to discuss a possible formal roll-out of the programmes it has developed in Surabaya across Indonesia as a whole.

Mayor of Surabaya, Eri Cahyadi, said: “Over the past five years, the partnership between Surabaya City and the Liverpool City Region has transcended geographical boundaries, establishing cooperation in various fields that enrich our communities.

“This synergy is proof that Surabaya City and the Liverpool City Region share strengths from each other. As sister cities, we are united in our commitment to overcome common challenges, all for the welfare of our citizens. We hope that the benefits of this relationship will be directly felt by generations to come.”

British Ambassador to Indonesia, Dominic Jermey, said: “This partnership has delivered real world impacts, improving the lives of our communities and is a great example of how UK and Indonesian regions can help each other to grow stronger.

“The relationship has brought our people closer together, boosted mutual prosperity, and promoted economic development. As we mark the 75th anniversary of UK-Indonesia diplomatic relations this year, I very much look forward to working together to ensure our partnership continues to grow and flourish over the coming years, for the benefit of our people, planet and prosperity.”