Indonesia’s recently re-elected President Joko Widodo on Sunday outlined his vision for a second term, pledging faster infrastructure development and more investment opportunities to create jobs and growth in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
Hampered by soft commodity prices, Indonesia has struggled to lift growth above 5% in recent years even amid a boom in infrastructure building aimed at unlocking bottlenecks and distributing wealth outside the populous island of Java. In a rally attended by thousands of supporters, Widodo said infrastructure development – a key agenda in his first term – would be accelerated to connect ports and airports across the archipelago to agricultural and tourism centres. He also emphasized plans to improve human resources in a country that is lagging some of its neighbours in developing a skilled workforce.
This would include investing in vocational schools and creating an institution to manage Indonesian talent, as well as tapping the skills of those who settled overseas, he said. Widodo also promised to open up investment opportunities in a country where red tape and vested interests remain a potent force discouraging foreign capital.