THE JAKARTA provincial government is planning to study Costa Rica’s clean water management systems and optimize the management of old city tourism through a comparative study of Panama in the near future.

“I support cooperation to advance our capital city. With a comparative study, we hope for an exchange of information that will benefit each country,” Jakarta’s acting Governor Heru Budi Hartono said recently.

Hartono conveyed the plans for conducting comparative studies of the two Central American countries to Indonesian Ambassador to Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua Sukmo Harsono during a meeting at Jakarta City Hall on the same day.

“Earlier we were told about the clean water management system in Costa Rica that is already good. The management of the Old City in Panama is also quite good and able to attract tourists,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Harsono provided details about advanced water management and water distribution in Costa Rica.

“Interestingly, permits for the construction of hotels and buildings will not be given if there is an underground river found underneath because they are obliged to buy water from the Regional Drinking Water Company (PDAM). So, it is no longer easy to extract groundwater,” he informed.

Moreover, he said that his party had received information regarding the Jakarta provincial government’s plan to take over the service and management of clean water from two private operators who have been partners for quite a long time.

For this reason, a comparative study of Costa Rica is needed in order to improve clean water services and management after the end of the cooperation between PDAM Jaya and Palyja and Aetra.

Regarding the old city tourist area, he said that Panama, with a population of around 5.5 million, has been able to draw as many as 1.7 million tourists to its old city area per year.

“They were able to manage the old city tourist area to become an attractive tourist destination. I see that Jakarta is already good at revitalizing its old buildings. But maybe it can still be improved by taking a comparative study to Panama,” he added.

Apart from discussing water management and tourism areas, Hartono and Harsono also discussed the potential for promoting Jakarta’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cultural arts products in Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. [antaranews/photo special]