Jokowi goes for infrastructure

INDONESIAN President Joko Widodo has approved development of 16 strategic projects in East Kalimantan mainly to change the economy of the province from dependence on exports of non-renewable energy commodities.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 26 March 2017
  • 11:06
  • News
Jokowi goes for infrastructure Joko Widodo

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The projects have been proposed by East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek Ishak to reduce dependence on oil and gas and coal for export earning, a senior regional official, identified only as Ichwansyah, said.
Among the 16 strategic projects proposed by the governor and have been approved by Jokowi include toll road, railways , airports, seaports , industrial estates, oil refineries, dams and public works projects in frontier areas.
"East Kalimantan has so far relied mainly in oil and gas and coal for export earning," Ichwansyah said when opening a regional economic meeting between East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan last week.
He said at a limited meeting with Jokowi in Jakarta earlier this month, the governor reported progress in the implementation of a number of strategic projects in the region.
He said the global economic crisis has put a brake on economic development in East Kalimantan for its heavy dependence on exports of fossil energy and coal, the prices of which have dropped sharply over the past several years.
The impact of the global economic slowdown was bad on the mining, and export development resulting in contraction in East Kalimantan economic growth in 2015.
In 2015, the economy of the oil and coal rich provinces contracted and in 2016, there was no much improvement with the economy still contracting 0.38%, he said.
East Kalimantan, therefore, have to make a breakthrough by taking strategic steps to develop economic potential other than oil, gas and coal, which are not renewable, he said.
Among the steps taken and to be taken are development of agro-industry and the agricultural sector as a whole, he said.
East Kalimantan already has large oil palm plantations and it hopes to expand plantations of rubber, cacao and coffee.
Dams are proposed to be built in Marangkayu in the regency of Kutai Kartanegara, in Teritip of Balikpapan, and food estate projects in the regency of Paser and Penajam Paser Utara to strengthen the provinces program of food security .
"Priority projects are 2 million hectares of oil palm plantations, the Marangkayu dam to irrigate 1500ha of rice fields to be completed in 2019, the Teritip dam to be operational in 2018," Ichwansyah said.


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