Jakarta. As part of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's maritime ambitions in boosting the economy by improving connectivity between its islands, the government will expedite the development and modernization of ports across Indonesia, the newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Thursday (28/07).
The development of as many as 24 seaports, including five deep seaports, have previously been targeted to be completed within five years in what the government has called the Sea Toll Road program.
"We certainly intend to speed up its process and it is underway," Luhut said.
"I have had lengthy discussions with [former coordinating maritime minister] Rizal Ramli. He has also briefed me about the program," Luhut added.
Jokowi has vowed to turn Indonesia into a global maritime axis partly by building and modernizing the archipelago's ports, which will in turn improve maritime connectivity and commerce.
The program, which launched late last year, is expected to lower the price gap between the more developed western part of Indonesia and its struggling eastern counterpart by 30 percent.