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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  29 July 2015  

Financing gap hampers infrastructure development: Minister

National Development Planning Minister Andrinof Chaniago has said that a financing gap is among challenges the Indonesian government is facing to provide adequate infrastructure.

“We are fully aware that it’s not that easy for us to provide adequate infrastructure due to a number of existing problems, such as high logistics costs,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency during the closing ceremony of the “UK-Indonesia Business Forum” in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Andrinof said that to work on various infrastructure projects, the government needed around US$450 billion, and not all of those funding needs could be covered by the state budget.

The minister further said, however, that the Indonesian government was optimistic that it would be able to attract a number of partners to cooperate in resolving the existing problem, namely the gap between the state budget and the funds needed for infrastructure projects in the country.

He said that Indonesia had a total population of more than 250 million people, making it one of the biggest markets in the world. It was also blessed with abundant natural resources, including mining and maritime resources.

“Therefore, we are optimistic enough to set a high target of economic growth in 2016,” said Andrinof.

The head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) further said that in the next five years, the government would focus its development toward a number of fields such as the maritime, tourism, and energy sectors.

Among new infrastructure projects, the government hopes to develop 24 strategic ports, 1,000 kilometers of new toll roads, and the 35,000 Megawatt (MW) electricity project to support Indonesia’s energy sovereignty program.

“All strategies and targets show our government’s commitment to infrastructure development in the next five years,” said Andrinof.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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