Indonesia Proposes 28 Major Infrastructure Projects as Part of Belt and Road
March 20, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Indonesian government of Joko Widodo is meeting with Chinese investors today and tomorrow in Bali, where they are presenting 28 projects worth $91 billion, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the projects include seaports, industrial estates, power plants, smelters and tourism estates, according to the Jakarta Post.
The timing of this proposal is critical. There is a national election on April 17, in which Widodo is being challenged by former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, the son of Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, the economist who built independent Indonesia with President Sukarno. The race is considered close. A major distinction between them is that Prabowo has adopted the neo-con hysteria against China and the Belt and Road. Widodo is thus focusing on the tremendous potential of big infrastructure projects in the BRI.
“Out of those 28, we expect to reach a deal on at least two to three projects,” Pandjaitan told the press on March 19. The government has designated four locations as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor—North Sumatra, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi and Bali. The four locations, he said, were chosen, as they all sit on the periphery of the archipelago, coinciding with President Widodo’s ambition to develop the country from the outer areas, according to the Post. The locations also are convenient for Chinese investors.