Indonesia’s Economic Growth Maintained Above 5%, President Jokowi Says
Amidst the global economic slowdown, Indonesia has managed to keep economic growth slightly above 5%, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said.
“It is not a lot, slightly above 5%, (but) it is good compared to (economic growth) in other countries. Some (countries) post negative (growth). Some are heading to zero (growth). Some report growths of 1,5%, 1%, 2%,” the President said at the Opening of the 2019 Indonesia Banking Expo, at the Ballroom of Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta, Wednesday (6/11).
President Jokowi also expressed belief that Indonesia has the potentials to become a high-income country and escape the middle-income country trap, while stressing that the country has some urgent agenda such as infrastructure development.
Indonesia’s infrastructure is also still far behind that of other countries, he said.
“Since the Jagorawi toll road was built in 1978 or 40 years ago, we have only built 780 kilometers of toll roads. China at the same time has built 280,000 kilometers of toll roads,” President Jokowi said.
For this reason, the President said he had instructed Minister of State-Owned Enterprises and Minister of Public Works and Public Housing to focus on investment and infrastructure, adding that Indonesia can improve speed of goods and service mobility throughout the country if the Government pays greater attention to toll roads, airports, ports, and power plant developments.
“We are not like other countries with one mainland. We have 17,000 islands. I often remind economic agents of this (fact). 17,000 islands, we manage 17,000 islands, 514 districts and cities. It is not easy,” the President said.
The Head of State also urged the Indonesian people not to be complacent, while calling on the people to see Papua’s condition.
“Five years ago I went to the town of Wamena in Papua province. I was speechless to learn about Nduga Regency of Papua,” he said regarding the regency’s infrastructure.
According to the President, it needs four days and four nights to reach Nduga from Wamena.
“We can imagine how (hard) it is for our brothers and sisters to get their logistics, health services. I rode a helicopter when I was there and I didn’t see a meter of asphalt road in the regency’s capital. The infrastructure gap was apparent between the Western, Central, and Eastern Indonesia,” the President said.
Therefore, President Jokowi added, the Government will continue to build infrastructure in a more focused manner for the next five years. The President has also instructed the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing to connect toll road with industrial, agricultural, and tourist areas and ordered that airports and seaports to be connected to those areas. (FID/JAY/ES)
Translated by : Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Edited by : M. Ersan Pamungkas