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World Bank pledges support for Indonesian maritime highway plan

World Bank pledges support for Indonesian maritime highway plan
Giving wider impetus to Indonesian President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi) maritime infrastructure development plans, World Bank (WB) president Jim Yong Kim promised to provide financing options for its maritime highway programme, local media reported.

“President Jokowi has a vision for building a maritime economy that will tackle all the logistical barriers in a way that can actually increase GDP [gross domestic product] growth by 2% a year. That’s a very powerful and inspiring vision,” Kim said during his visit to the country’s main port, Tanjung Priok, in North Jakarta.

“And we at the World Bank group are going do everything we can to support (Pelindo II president-director) Pak Lino and others in making President Jokowi’s vision a reality,” he added.

During a meeting with Widodo at the State Palace Kim offered as much as $12bn over the next three to four years for various development projects, from infrastructure to education.

“We are going to use the full sway of the institution, all of the creative ways in providing financing, because we believe we need to put money into these particular projects, I can’t give you a number right now, but I can tell you it will be a very significant investment that we’re going to be making in these projects,” Kim said regarding the maritime highway programme.

Pelindo II's Lino expressed hope for assistance from the lender particularly in port construction. “During the tour, the World Bank has shown its interest in the country’s port-development projects, particularly in underdeveloped regions and the country’s eastern parts,” Lino said.

Out of the total $12bn of funds the WB has offered the government, Lino said he expected to see around $2bn to $3bn invested for port-development projects. “In the end, it will depend on the government, because without reforms in productivity and dwelling-time, good infrastructure development will remain meaningless,” Lino said.