Opening Ceremony Indo Water 2019

Less Waste, More Infrastructure as Jokowi Aims for 5.6% Growth in 2018

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo seeks to accelerate economic growth in 2018, with plans to increase government spending and attract more private investment to develop infrastructure across the archipelago.

The government will target a 5.6 percent increase in growth next year, up from an expected 5.1 percent this year and a recorded 5 percent in 2016.

Jokowi has asked his cabinet to consult ministerial budgets and cut superfluous expenses to increase government spending on capital expenditure.

"There are many unnecessary costs that can be redirected to capital expenditure," he said during a plenary cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Tuesday (04/04).

Ministries and government agencies need to channel their spending to sectors that can generate long-term growth, Jokowi added. He emphasized the need for more public spending on transportation, electrical and communications infrastructure, as well as investing in clean-water systems.

The government has allocated Rp 2,081 trillion ($156 billion) towards state spending this year, while Rp 194 trillion will be dedicated to infrastructure development.

A notable percentage of last year's budget was allocated to foreign debt repayment, and for salaries of government workers, which accounted for 16 percent.

Jokowi said his administration needs to find new markets for Indonesian exports to reduce the country's reliance on China and the United States, especially as the Trump administration appears set to adopt more protectionist economic policies.

The government would also like to see more foreign direct investment in Indonesia in the coming years as national regulations are simplified, the president said.

Private sector investments accounted for a third of Indonesia's $930-billion economy last year.


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