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Indonesia urges ASEAN countries to prioritize infrastructure development

Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has urged countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to prioritize their infrastructure development and establish connectivity among countries to ensure economic equality.

“The infrastructure’s main priority consists of many sectors which includes electricity. Connectivity plays an important role in improving the plantation sector and helping in job creation,” Vice President Jusuf Kalla said at the 2016 World Economic Forum on ASEAN here Wednesday.

Vice President Kalla targeted the creation of equality and prosperity with other countries. “Indeed, it will need hard work,” he said.

Developing connectivity is not easy, especially in an archipelagic country such as Indonesia, but it is putting in a lot of effort to establish such connectivity, the vice president said.

“The Indonesian government has been working on improving equality. In fact, as a country with a Muslim majority, we have become an example on how pluralism was established. It is paramount for our economic growth,” Kalla said.

Besides cooperation between regional countries, Vice President Kalla also stressed the importance of competitiveness to improve equality.
But competition should be established in a healthy manner. “Please open a factory in our country only if the investment calculations are favorable,” he said.
ASEAN should be able to improve the welfare in the region through cooperation among its member countries and with several other countries, Kalla also said. “If you can provide more income to the people and they can afford it, then it will be even better,” Kalla said.
The 2016 World Economic Forum on ASEAN is the first regional meeting with a specific focus on the ASEAN, which was held in Kuala Lumpur on June 1 and 2.

Previously, the WEF meeting in the region referred to as the WEF on East Asia was held in Indonesia in 2011 and 2015, the Philippines (2014), Myanmar (2013), Thailand (2012), and Vietnam (2010).

The WEF on East Asia 2011 in Jakarta was opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, while in 2015 it was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo.

The forum is a meeting place for political leaders, business people, academics and other community members to discuss various agendas, challenges and regional and global solutions.
The forum is meant more to exchange ideas, and engage in a discourse, rather than become a decision-making arena.

Source: www.antaranews.com, 1 June 2016