News / Asia

Indonesia Announces Massive Infrastructure Initiative

VOA News
Indonesia has announced plans for more than $33 billion in new infrastructure projects in a bid to boost the economy of the Southeast Asian nation.

Officials in Jakarta Thursday said the projects include new or improved ports, dams, roads, power generation facilities and airports.  Many economists see crumbling infrastructure as a major obstacle to attracting foreign investment in Indonesia.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa says the government is aware of the problem.

"We are aware that one of our business and economic burdens is that we are still facing the high cost of logistics, which is not less than 26 percent of GDP," said Rajasa.

Authorities say more than half of the planned projects are designed to be public-private partnerships and are encouraging more Indonesian businesses to become involved in the joint ventures.

Erwin Aksa, deputy chief of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, tells VOA's Indonesian service that inadequate infrastructure is among the biggest problems facing businesses in the country.

“A condition like this is most certainly felt by the employers; they will reduce, will retain, and the credit will be delayed, maybe some projects will be canceled, and so on.  It will automatically delay the development or expansion of companies," said Aksa.

Officials say the first new projects will begin next year.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

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