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Funds made available to boost Jakarta terminal

Jakarta: PT Jakarta International Container Terminal on Thursday secured a $70 million dollar syndicated loan from the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's investment arm, and HSBC to help boost capacity at its Tanjung Priok container terminal, according to the Jakarta Globe.

The loan will help finance JICT's plan to boost capacity at the terminal by 50 percent -- from 2 million TEUs a year to 3 million TEUs by 2013.

Exporters said they welcomed the expansion of the Jakarta port, Indonesia's largest, but noted that it would not be ready to handle the jump in trade when the Asean-China Free-Trade Agreement takes effect on January 1.

JICT is jointly owned by Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings and state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II. Its container terminal at Tanjung Priok handles about 30 percent of all container traffic in Indonesia.

The expansion plan will cost $160 million. JICT will fund the rest internally, said HPH group executive director James Tsien.

Amelia Achyar, chairwoman of the Indonesian Exporters and Importers Association (IEI), said she welcomed the expansion but said it would not be ready in time to meet the expected increase in trade from the Asean-China FTA.

"We're still fighting for the FTA to be delayed, actually, because we are not quite ready," she said. "Look at this container terminal. It will only be ready by 2013."

Toto Dirgantoro, secretary general of the Indonesian Exporters Association (GPEI), said excessive bureaucracy, such as the time required to clear customs, meant the movement of containers inside the port was still too slow.

"This needs to be improved first, then we should focus on increasing the capacity of the port," Toto said.

Karin Finkelston, International Finance Corporation's director for East Asia and the Pacific, said that as the world's largest archipelagic nation, Indonesia needed an efficient and well run maritime transport system.

"IFC investment will not only strengthen Indonesia's port sector but also attract private-sector investment in infrastructure, which has lagged far behind needs," she said.

IFC has committed to invest $300 million to $400 million in Indonesia per year over the next five years, particularly on climate-change programs, rural development and urban infrastructure.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said improving the container terminal would boost the economy and ensure higher-quality service for exporters and importers.

"I hope the services given by JICT can be of the highest standard, not only in Indonesia but also in the region," she said.  [11/12/09]


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