Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group (LDA), a French maritime transportation group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with palm oil plantation company Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) to develop business opportunities in maritime logistics in Indonesia.

The MOU, signed between GAR and LDA on 29 March, focused on developing logistics in Indonesia for the next five years with planned acquisitions and investments amounting to around US$100M, LDA said in a statement.

In 2014, LDA and GAR established a joint venture company dedicated to transport LDA and GAR cargoes within Indonesian waters, which in 2016 transported 4.5M tonnes of various cargoes.

Jesslyne Widjaja, executive director of GAR, said: “The maritime sector plays a pivotal role for the Indonesian economy and our goal is to contribute actively for the development of the sector as a whole.”

“This new step in our partnership with GAR confirms LDA’s strategy to keep strong links with Indonesia, where our group has been active for more than 25 years on the coal export market, onshore and offshore port logistics as well as marine industrial services,” said Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, president of the supervisory board of LDA.

According to the firms, Indonesia wass a key commercial partner for French companies, especially for marine services.

In 2014, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced his plans to turn Indonesia into a ‘global maritime axis’, and since then, he has often reaffirmed this strategy, the statement read.

LDA saw French President François Hollande’s historic visit to Indonesia at the end of March 2017, the first of a French President in 30 years, as signalling stronger bilateral ties between the two countries as well as France’s support of the certified, sustainable development of plantation industries in the region through supportive measures.

President Hollande was present for the signature of the LDA-GAR agreement.