Sarana Multi Infrastruktur has signed a pledge with the Asian Development Bank to support the government's agenda in accelerating infrastructure development by funding the private sector. (Reuters Photo/Garry Lotulung)

Indonesia, on Public Works Binge, to Tout Infrastructure Financing at G-20 Meet


NOVEMBER 13, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia will use this weekend’s G-20 summit in Turkey to push world economic powers to place greater emphasis on infrastructure development, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said on Friday.

“To some extent we will reflect the emerging market’s voice, but we will also bring the Indonesian context,” he told reporters in Jakarta.

The administration of President Joko Widodo has made infrastructure building the linchpin to Indonesia’s national development agenda, although actual spending has fallen far short of rhetoric.

Bambang said infrastructure financing had always been discussed as part of a special working group session at the G-20 summit every year. At the summit in Antalya this time around, Indonesia will co-chair that working group with Germany and Mexico.

“We have seen a stronger will to resolve the mismatch in infrastructure funding. The point is, Indonesia will keep pushing for such financing to grow by convincing countries that sustainable growth can be achieved through infrastructure development,” Bambang said.

President Joko Widodo will attend the leaders’ summit on Sunday and Monday, along with Bambang and Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi. The leaders will also discuss, among other things, reforms to the International Monetary Fund and the potential fallout from monetary policies adopted by various countries in response to the global economic recession.

“Indonesia is in a position that supports [IMF] reform to continue, so countries can resolve their problems,” Bambang said. “This is for the sake of many countries, not one or two. We want a stronger IMF, an organization that gives more attention to emerging markets and developing economies.”

Indonesia is among several countries pushing for reforms to the IMF’s quota allocation to give developing countries a greater voice in the governance of the fund. However, the move has been stonewalled by the US Congress.

On the issue of monetary policy, Bambang said the Indonesian delegation would try to get the other countries to see how their actions were adversely affecting other countries. He said the issue was not limited to the United States and its Federal Reserve, whose equivocation on whether to raise interest rates has contributed to skittishness among investors in developing economies and a decline in the rupiah.

“The monetary policies [in question also] come from Europe, Japan and China,” Bambang said.