Jokowi Calls for Acceleration of Infrastructure Projects in South Sumatra

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President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged his staff to focus on the completion of infrastructure development for transportation in order to facilitate the connectivity between regions in Sumatra and to support the Asian Games in 2018.

He said that while chairing a limited meeting with a number of Working Cabinet ministers on Tuesday (3/21), at the Presidential Office, Jakarta.

“From the toll roads, the railway, to the LRT (Light Rail Transit),” said President Joko Widodo.

President said he expected the development of transport infrastructure, especially in the big cities, can push the economic growth more efficiently so that the competitiveness of the region will be better.

“It is what South Sumatra needs to sustain its economy,” he said.

Furthermore, the president also called for the acceleration in developing the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) of Tanjung Api-Api and Tanjung Carat. He said the development of the SEZs will create new jobs as well as a driver of the economic growth in South Sumatra, which in 2016 was able to grow 5.03 percent, slightly above the national average.

“The special economic zones can also be developed to accommodate the strong interest in the processing industry, ranging from the petro chemical, oil refinery, automotive industry, electronics, industrial manufacturing, and others,” said the president.

Nevertheless, the government will also pay more attention to strengthen the agricultural productivity and increase the farmers’ bargaining power. The data show the bargaining power of farmers was always below 100 and tended to decline. As a result, the increase of agricultural product prices received by the farmers is lower than the rise of prices of goods they consume.

“This means we must work harder to improve the welfare of the farmers in South Sumatra,” added the president.