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World Bank Chief to Discuss Policy Reforms in Jakarta This Week

Jakarta. World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is set to discuss Indonesia’s policy reforms with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati during his two-day visit to Jakarta on July 25-26.

Kim will participate in the Infrastructure Finance Forum, which will bring together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to mobilize financing for infrastructure development in the country, during his stay in the capital.

“Effective infrastructure investment is vital to accelerating inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and will help unlock the country’s massive potential,” Kim said in a statement on Monday (24/07).

The World Bank reiterated its support for Indonesia’s fiscal policy reforms — including the government’s decision to cut fuel subsidies beginning in 2015 — in various recent statements and flagship reports.

“I strongly support the government’s efforts to continue reforms that will benefit all Indonesians, including finding ways to better collect and spend revenues to finance development,” Kim said.

The Bank’s president is scheduled to give a public talk on the importance of investing in children as part of efforts to reduce inequality. According to a recent national health survey, 9 million children under the age of five in the country suffer from stunted growth.

The World Bank released a report, titled “Indonesia Economic Quarterly: Upgraded,” in June, citing a positive outlook for the country’s economy on the back of a “supportive global economy” and “strong domestic fundamentals.”

The Bank has projected Indonesia’s GDP to increase by 5.2 percent this year and 5.3 percent in 2018. Indonesia’s economy, the largest in Southeast Asia, expanded 5 percent to $932 billion in 2016.

The Washington-based lender said investment, which it deemed an important source of Indonesia’s economic growth, will continue to grow on the back of government reforms to improve the business environment in the country, facilitate the recovery of commodity prices, lower financing rates and better business sentiment.

The report also noted that the inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country’s GDP have been steadily increasing over the past 15 years, from 2 percent of the country’s GDP in 2000 to 3.4 percent in 2015.

“Indonesia is a nation on the rise, poised to join the leading economies of the world,” Kim said.

Source: The Jakarta Globe