Will Indonesia’s infrastructure bottleneck ever be unclogged?
Finally, some progress in Indonesian infrastructure – but familiar battles remain.
Euromoney was in Jakarta in August when a local colleague spotted one of the city’s rapid mass transit trains, currently undergoing final testing, for the first time. “It’s here!” she shouted, jumping out of the taxi to take a photo. “It’s finally here!” Joy would not be too strong a word.
Indonesians have been waiting a long time for decent infrastructure. So have foreign investors. It wasn’t hard for our friend to jump out of that taxi; it hadn’t moved in 20 minutes.
It is not yet clear if the new transit system, due to open next year, will make the two-hour trips from the airport (or one-hour trips around the corner) a thing of the past. But at least there is finally some tangible evidence of progress – just in time for an election.
As the World Bank and IMF caravan prepares to roll into Bali for its annual meeting, all the talk is of infrastructure development, as it has been for as long as anyone can remember. Delegates have been wondering for months how the island’s roads and venues will cope.