Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

China and Indonesia signed a joint-venture agreement Friday on the construction and operation of a high-speed railway from Jakarta to Bandung, a historical breakthrough for the overseas expansion of Chinese high-speed railway technology.

Designed to travel at a maximum of 300 km per hour, the 150-km high-speed railway will shorten travel time from Jakarta to Bandung from three hours to within 40 minutes. The project is expected to start in November 2015 and will take three years to complete, according to the China Railway Corp.

Led by a Chinese consortium, headed by China Railway Corp. and four Indonesian state-owned firms, the project is the first Chinese high-speed railway overseas program, said a spokesperson for China Railway.

China and Japan had been bidding for the program since March this year. Indonesia officials declined Japan’s proposal on Oct. 1.

China’s successful bid for the program will be beneficial for cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, which encourages infrastructure and production capacity cooperation, said a spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission.

The project will also help China accelerate construction plans of the railway network across Southeast Asia and boost connectivity between countries along the Belt and Road.