Reclamation potential to make Indonesia an Asian hub: Expert

20 April, 2016 | Source: Antara News

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A leading economist and former environment minister Emil Salim said reclamation of the northern coast of Java could make Indonesia an Asian hub taking over part of the role of Singapore.

"Our target of development of the northern coast of Java is to compete with Singapore, which would be saturated in 2030 that international trade traffic would be shifted from Pacific to the Indian ocean," Emil said in an economic dialog on "Policy Dialogue: The Middle Income Trap-Indonesias Challenge Ahead" here on Monday.

He said by 2045 or 100 years after the country gained its independence, the northern coast of Java should be made ready to serve as an alternative international shipping center to Singapore.

Unlike Singapore which has limited land territory for expansion, the northern coast of Java from west to east has good prospects in serving as a potential route for busy international trade across the Indian and Pacific oceans, he said.

He said reclamation of the northern coast of Java could transform the area not only into a economic growth center, but also into a maritime , fishery and shipbuilding industrial centers. 

However, reclamation especially reclamation of the Jakarta Bay , now in the process of construction must not neglect the environmental impact.

Reclamation should be through natural process with sedimentation of mud brought by rivers that empty to the Jakarta Bay .

It is a wrong way of reclamation by digging corrals around the Thousand island to create new islands, he said referring to reclamation by giant companies PT Agung Podomoro and Agung Sedayu Group.

The destruction of the corral will affect the ecosystem, change the sea currents and damage the environment, he said.

Salim statement came amid growing protest especially from environmentalists against reclamation of the Jakarta Bay 

The government, seeking to end the controversy over the reclamation, decided to suspend the project on Monday. 

"We ask to suspend construction until all requirements and law regulations are fully met," Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli said stopping short of bowing to growing public demand to cancel the big project.

Rizal said at a meeting also attended by the environment minister Siti Nurbaya, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and officials of the marine and fisheries ministry, it was agreed to form a joint committee to find a solution to the controversy over the project.

The committee will make up of officials of the office of the coordinating minister for maritime, the environment ministry, the marine and fisheries ministry , the Jakarta city administration, the home affairs ministry and the state secretariat.

Minister Siti Nurbaya said among the problems to be solved are related to analysis on environmental impact which needs to be completed.

The controversy over the real estate project surfaced when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested a number of people including leaders of PT Agung Podomoro Land Tbk and Agung Sedayu Group and a lawmaker on charge of graft.

 

 

Strong consolidation needed to face global economic turbulence Reporter: Agus Salim 3 hours ago President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) addressing at a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) on Monday night. (Agus Salim) Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reminded the country`s fiscal and monetary authorities and the business of the need for strong coordination and consolidation to face the global economic uncertainties. "Uncertainties in the global condition, trade war between the United States and China, increase in interest rate, crisis in Argentina and Turkey, would necessitate strong consolidation and coordination between the monetary and fiscal authorities and the business sector," Jokowi said addressing a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) here on Monday night. He said good coordination and consolidation would make it easier to develop the public and market confidence. "It is the same as in developing a corporation. Trust brand is vital. The state needs that. Building up trust and market confidence that the international communities, domestic market believe that we are working seriously to settle state problems," he said. He said Indonesia is a big country with a population of 263 million, the fourth largest in the world, having 17,000 islands and made up of 34 provinces. "It is not easy to manage such big country . Each area has own cases, and requirement different from each other," he added. He said developing Indonesia concerns not only economic and political aspects. "If we are concerned only with economic and political gains we need only to focus on development of Java, which is home to 60 percent of the country`s population, but we think of a nation. We are concerned not only with expanding business empire leaving Papua, North Maluku, NTT and other eastern Indonesian regions to suffer in backwardness," he said. Currently imbalance is still wide in infrastructure between the country`s western, central and eastern regions, he said, adding Indonesia is seeking to catch up with other countries. He cited three years earlier, Indonesia had only 231 water reservoirs and dams as against 6,000 dams in the United States and 110,000 dams in China. "This is fact that has to be presented and we have to do something about it," he said. He also spoke about progress made in the construction of toll roads saying after the Jagorawi toll road was operational until early 2015, Indonesia had only 780 km of toll road as against China`s toll roads totaling 280,000 km. "We need to know the condition we are in before we start working hard to make up for the gap especially in eastern Indonesia," he said. Reporting by Agus Salim Editing by Albert Saragih Editor: Bustanuddin COPYRIGHT © ANTARA 2018 AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Google+Share to WhatsAppShare to LINEShare to PinterestShare to GmailShare to EmailShare to More Prev News Indonesia calls for reconciliation and justice for peace Next News Puan attends UN meeting on world peace Comments
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