President Jokowi: Infrastructure Development Aims to Boost Logistics Cost Efficiency, Socio-Cultural Connectivity

By : M. Amru | Wednesday, December 06 2023 - 20:16 IWST

President Jokowi visits the MRT project
President Jokowi visits the MRT project

INDUSTRY.co.id - Infrastructure development has become one of the top priorities of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration as it brings many benefits, from cutting logistics costs to uniting the nation.

President Jokowi made the statement in his remarks at the Gathering of the President of the Republic of Indonesia and Infrastructure Stakeholders at the commemoration of the 78th Anniversary of Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing at the State Palace in Jakarta, Monday (12/04).

“A country as big as Indonesia with 17,000 islands needs infrastructure. Connectivity infrastructure in the forms of roads, harbors, airports, all of them is needed. Infrastructure for the water supply, including dams and irrigations, as well as infrastructure related to services; hospitals, schools, markets. The Government builds them all and Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing is the one in charge,” he said.

According to President Jokowi, infrastructure is important for Indonesia because it brings various benefits, from making logistics cost efficient to uniting the nation.

“Logistics cost efficiency is essential as it will affect our country’s competitiveness in investment. Investors will not come if our infrastructure is terrible. They won’t be able to go to an island because there is no airport. They won’t be able to go to an island as there is no seaport. They won’t be able to go there since there is no road,” he said.

The President also stated that infrastructure development can create new economic hubs, adding that infrastructure plays a role in sociocultural connectivity.

“Infrastructure also unites people. Thanks to airports, people from Aceh can fly directly to Papua, from Papua to Java, from Java to Kalimantan and Sulawesi. The function is, once again, to unite [people],” he said.

The President pointed out that infrastructure development, which has been massively conducted since 2014, has improved Indonesia’s competitiveness.

“It showed an improvement although it’s not yet drastic. We have worked hard in infrastructure, truly worked hard. The difference is recognizable, but once again, we are still in the 51st rank in the Global Competitiveness Index. It went up from 54 to 51,” he said.

The President further said that the improvement was thanks to the completed construction of 42 dams, irrigation for 1.2 million hectares of land, toll roads with a total length of 2,143 kilometers, national roads with a length of 5,700 kilometers, 8.2 million houses through the Million House Program, and border posts (PLBN) in a number of regions.

“If we compare it with toll roads in China… ours have a total of almost 3,000 kilometers, while the toll roads in China… what is the total length, Minister? Does anyone know? It’s 190,000 kilometers. We have almost 300 dams in total, whereas South Korea has 20,000 dams and China I suppose has 98,000 dams. We have a long way to go. We still need to work hard although we have already made a leap,” he said.

President Jokowi also expressed appreciation to Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing for the hard work and speed in constructing infrastructure, while ordering that in building roads, the construction should include drainage, sidewalk, and the landscape.

“The speed is also excellent. Normally, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing comes first in budget realization. In January, the work already begins because the contract has been made previously. That is what I observed. Compared to other ministries, this one always starts first. It is good. In January, the work begins. That is what I stress to other ministries, to follow suit,” he remarked.

 

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