Indonesia to fast-track infrastructure to face AEC

December 15, 2015, Jakarta Post Online

Indonesia aims to propel infrastructure development to enhance its competitiveness and engagement in  the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that is scheduled to begin this year.

“Infrastructure is still our biggest problem, particularly in terms of domestic connectivity,”ASEAN Cooperation Director General dor international trade cooperation Donna Gultom said on Wednesday.

Insufficient infrastructure for supporting connectivity between islands has hampered Indonesia’s economic growth. Developments have been centered in Java. Creating economic disparity, and business players seem hardly interested in investing in less-developed areas, leading to decreased foreign direct investment (FDI)

In order to be competitive in the AEC, Donna asserted that infrastructure development should be enhanced to strengthen domestic connectivity, which in the long run would have a multiplier effect on the economy. such as further investment, smoother distribution channels and ultimately increased economic growth.

“Our economy is growing, but if we are aiming for 7 to 8 percent growth, we need to develop infrastructure.” Donna told thejakartapost.com

According to Donna, if President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo could fulfill his pledge to tackle shortages in public infrastructure. Indonesia could strengthen its domestic connectivity in just five years.

In addition, Donna said that the government aimed to update ports infrastructure to enable larger vessels such as containerships to deliver directly to Indonesia. This is expected to boost local business players coincidence in the value of exporting goods, while also reducing Indonesia’s dependence on Singaporean ports for trade.

“Jokowi has earmarked 24 seaports to be developed further.”, said Donna.

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