Monday, January 17, 2005

Summit kicks off, offers $22b projects

Source: The Jakarta Post

The much-anticipated Infrastructure Summit, in which the government will offer 91 infrastructure projects worth US$22.5 billion, kicks off on Monday -- a crucial test to gauge investors' interest in the country.

The government, which has seen investors fleeing in droves over the past several years, will offer projects spanning across the archipelago during the 2005-2009 period in priority sectors such as toll roads, gas pipelines, power, airports, seaports, tap water, railroads and telecommunications.

The massive projects are designed to lure investment and boost economic indices, particularly employment, in accordance with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's goal of pushing annual average growth over 6 percent.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Aburizal Bakrie told a press briefing on Sunday that the country would need up to $150 billion -- an upward revision from the $75 billion -- to finance the infrastructure-related projects in the next five years.

Of the total, one-third will be funded by domestic sources including the state budget, while multilateral lenders are expected to contribute some $10 billion, leaving global private investors to kick in for the $90 billion that remains.

"The $22.5 billion worth of projects on offer at the summit are the first batch of the $90 billion. We'll offer other projects, which will be worth $57.5 billion, in the second batch scheduled for November," Aburizal said.

Minister of Transportation Hatta Radjasa also said that among the projects offered, nine of them would come from his office.

Those projects comprise the overhaul of Soekarno-Hatta international airport, the construction of new airports in Medan, North Sumatra; Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara and Makassar, South Sulawesi.

For seaports, the projects include the construction of the Jakarta New Port, Bojonegara port in Banten, Balikpapan port in East Kalimantan and the Lamong Bay port which forms part of the extension project of Tanjung Perak port of Surabaya.

Hatta said that the government also would offer the construction of a rail network from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Manggarai station in South Jakarta.