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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        13  April 2011

Indo infrastructure costs revealed

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The Indonesian government is earmarking Rp 500 trillion (US$58 billion) through 2014 to develop the country’s infrastructure but still needs Rp 1,166.7 trillion in additional funding from the private sector, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Hatta Rajasa, coordinating minister for the economy, said at the opening of a three-day conference on development in Jakarta that the Rp 500 trillion would be used to build roads, seaports and airports to help achieve the government’s economic growth target of 7 to 8 percent.

He told the conference, which was hosted by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), that the Rp 500 trillion “is very small compared to the total amount we are allocating for the development of the corridors.”

Hatta was referring to the government’s plan to develop six development zones, called economic corridors, for which it is seeking Rp 3,000 trillion during the 2011-14 period, to be funded by state-owned companies and foreign direct investment.

To help achieve the development goals, the government is planning to revise policies and regulations to make the country more investment-friendly.

Vice President Boediono, in his keynote speech, said the government’s budget for infrastructure development was only about 30 percent of the total financing needed.

“The rest will come from the private sector through a public-private partnership scheme,’’ Boediono said.

The vice president also said the government was working hard to fix overlapping regulations at various levels.

“This can’t be done overnight, but the president has instructed his ministers to go all out in accelerating infrastructure,” he said.

Crumbling infrastructure has been blamed for hampering the country’s economic growth and keeping major foreign investment away.

In a bid to accelerate development, the government is set to complete the regulatory framework, said Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

He said that development in Indonesia had not been easy because of the lack of a regulatory framework.

“Key pending issues are the long-awaited land acquisition law and the revision of a presidential decree on tender processes,” he told the conference.

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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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