Jakarta (ANTARA) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on Monday that infrastructure can boost Indonesia’s bargaining power in drawing investment at the global level.
“Some 17,000 islands that form Indonesia, as a big country, need connecting infrastructure, be it in the form of roads, ports, and airports. All of them are essential,” he remarked at the 78th Public Infrastructure Service Day Commemoration at the State Palace in Jakarta on Monday.
In his speech, Jokowi argued that developing national infrastructure would improve the efficiency of logistics costs, thereby attracting foreign investment.
“Why are we prioritizing infrastructure? The first reason is related to the efficiency of logistics costs. This is crucial to compete with other countries. The efficiency of logistics costs is important,” he remarked.
He noted that the government has built various types of infrastructure, including those connecting regions as well as those facilitating the provision of services to the people.
“Investors would not come if we had bad infrastructure. They would find it difficult to visit an island if there were no airports, seaports, and roads,” he pointed out.
Jokowi also expressed belief that the development of infrastructure could unite the Indonesian nation while driving the emergence of new economic spots.
“Infrastructure is also a tool for unity. The existence of airports can help people in Aceh fly directly to Papua, people in Papua to Java, and people in Java to Kalimantan and Sulawesi. I repeat, infrastructure can also unite us,” he remarked.
He affirmed that infrastructure development conducted on a massive scale by his administration for nine years since 2014 had boosted Indonesia’s competitiveness.
Jokowi cited a report of the IMD Global Competitiveness Index in the infrastructure sector, which shows Indonesia’s success in climbing up ranks, from 54th in 2014 to 51st this year.
“This (report) shows that we did climb up, albeit not significantly. We have been making the utmost efforts to develop infrastructure, and we have seen the results,” he stated.
He praised the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry for its extensive efforts to build various infrastructures across Indonesia.
Source : ANTARANEWS