The Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry will, in the next five years, focus on its projects to connect toll roads with strategic areas, including ports, airports, industrial areas, and tourist destinations.

PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono remarked that development of the Trans Java toll road will enhance connectivity and further boost the local economy and build new economic centers in Java Island.

"We have lands readied to be developed as new economic centers, such as those in the districts of Ngawi and Nganjuk. It is the ministry's task to connect the toll road with the industrial areas," Hadimuljono noted in a statement in Jakarta on Monday.

Development of the Trans Java toll road will not only boost inter-city transportation connectivity but also be integrated with industrial areas and support access to tourist destination areas.

The minister affirmed that development of the Trans Java toll road will also ease the flow of logistics.

"The Trans Java toll road will smooth the flow of logistics. It will reduce logistical costs and cut short the delivery time," Hadimuljono explained.

The Transportation Ministry had earlier highlighted three key factors behind the high national logistics costs currently reaching 24 percent of the gross domestic product.

The three factors are transportation connectivity, inter-mode transportation cost, and inventory cost, head of the ministry's research and development agency Sugihardjo stated.

According to Sugihardjo, Indonesia continues to lag behind its neighboring nations in terms of infrastructure development. (ANTARA)


Indonesia has invited the United States to establish concrete cooperation in implementing the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific that encompasses the four main sectors of maritime, economy, Sustainable Development Goals, and connectivity.

The statement was made by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, who was representing Indonesia at the 7th ASEAN-US Summit in the IMPACT Arena, Nonthaburi, Thailand, on Monday.

"We spoke of the US having a financial scheme, through the International Development Finance Corporation, that is used to fund partnerships in the sectors of infrastructure, digital connectivity, and energy in the Indo-Pacific region," Minister Marsudi told reporters.

The ASEAN, home to a population of 647 million, is the third-largest economy in the Indo-Pacific and the fifth-largest in the global stage.

The minister also remarked that South-East Asia had better political stability and economic growth, as well as a bigger population belonging to the productive age group, as compared to other regions.

"With such potentials, establishing partnership with the ASEAN would not only be beneficial for the region but also for the US," she noted.

During the meeting, Indonesia expressed hope for the trade war between the US and China to soon be resolved, so as to avoid its impact on nations across the globe.

In the meantime, the US government, represented by the National Security Adviser Robert Charles O'Brien, reiterated the US' commitment to a strategic partnership with the ASEAN and its role in the Indo-Pacific region.

"As stated in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, we share the same vision for the future for this diverse and dynamic region based on respect for sovereignty, commitment to good governance, and compliance with the rule of law," O'Brien, who was appointed as the special envoy of President Donald Trump to attend this year's ASEAN-US Summit, stated.

In addition, President Trump extended invitations to leaders of ASEAN countries to attend the ASEAN-US Special Summit, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2020. (ANTARA)


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to fully support the priority programs of President Joko: Widodo (Jokowi) during his second term of office.

Abe was responding to the Indonesian government's development programs unveiled during a bilateral meeting with President Jokowi on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Bangkok on Monday.

At the meeting, President Jokowi unveiled the priority programs of his government in the next five years, including the development of quality human resources, the continuation of infrastructure development, and the simplification of government regulations and bureaucracy reform, Chief of the Press, Media and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat Erlin Suastini said in a press statement.

"At this meeting, I would like to focus on two issues, namely cooperation in the development of infrastructures and the development of quality human resources," Jokowi said.

Prime Minister Abe warmly welcomed the priority programs.

"Of course, Japan wants to cooperate in the fields which are the main priority, particularly infrastructure and human resource development ," he said.

President Jokowi said the two countries have been engaged in many areas of cooperation in the infrastructure sector, including the construction of Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, Jakarta-Surabaya semi-high-speed train and Patimban Port in West Java.

"Looking ahead, I also want to encourage the use of more local contents and the transfer of technology in our infrastructure development," he said.

The development of infrastructure has been able to connect economic centers to one another in the outskirt areas of the country, he said.

To realize the cooperation in human resource development, Jokowi invited Japan to enhance its cooperation with Indonesia in the fields of vocation and internship. (ANTARA)


President Joko Widodo raised the issues of hazardous and toxic waste in the 14th East Asian Summit, held in the IMPACT Arena, Nonthaburi, Thailand Monday.

"The President conveyed efforts to prevent the shipment of hazardous and toxic waste," said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi who accompanied President Jokowi to the meeting that was attended by 18 countries. It was previously reported that several ASEAN countries had received containers filled with waste, which include hazardous and toxic waste.

The amount of such waste sent to Indonesia, up until October this year, had reached 2,194 containers.

"The Indonesian Customs and Ministry of Environment and Forestry examined 822 containers, after which 374 containers were returned to their countries of origin," Marsudi said.

There are another 210 containers containing raw materials of recycled paper and plastic mixed with hazardous and toxic waste that are in the process of being sent back to various countries, such as France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Belgium, England, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Canada, and Japan, The Indonesian Customs and Excise previously stated.

Most of the contaminated containers have been sent from the United States and Germany, added Directorate General of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Finance Heru Pambudi.

The Indonesian government firmly rejects the import of paper and plastic raw materials mixed with hazardous and toxic waste, Director of Waste and Hazardous and Toxic Waste Management from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Rosa Vivien, stated. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the importers who are still carrying out these acts, to send them back.

Aside from hazardous and toxic waste, President Jokowi also touched on cooperation in marine debris management. In this field, ASEAN has cooperated with Australia and New Zealand.

Furthermore, Jokowi conveyed Indonesia's commitment to achieving the target of reducing marine waste down to 70 percent by 2025.

"In this context, the President is pushing for a global movement against plastic waste," Marsudi said. (ANTARA)