Indonesia ready for IMF-WB meetings in Bali
The Jakarta Post
The World Bank has expressed its appreciation toward the readiness of the government to host the upcoming 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, set to take place from Oct. 12-14 in Bali.
A total of 189 member countries of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are slated to attend the meetings, with attendees estimated to number between 15,000 and 20,000 comprising high-ranking government officials, businesspeople, academics and civil society organizations.
Press secretary for the World Bank, David Theis, said its representatives had met with the government to discuss the event’s preparations in the past few days, saying that the talks have showcased the government’s commitment to organizing the event.
“We all sensed the [government’s] commitment to living up to the highest standards possible,” Theis told reporters at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday.
Theis noted that unlike some countries that had hosted the meetings in the past, Bali, a world renowned tourist destination, has an advantage because all the necessary facilities already exist, from meeting halls to airports.
“You have all the hotels on [Bali’s] coast becoming part of the meetings [...] there have also been transformations at [Ngurah Rai] airport,” he added.
The World Bank, he further explained, also appreciated that the government had shown good management regarding the risk of volcanic eruption, which had concerned many parties since the eruption of Mount Agung late last year, resulting in Bali losing a large chunk of its tourism revenue.
“The government has shown that it is really clear and serious when it comes to monitoring volcanic activity,” Theis said, adding that the government had also told World Bank representatives about a contingency plan, though he did not elaborate on the matter.
Despite having tens of thousands of guests coming from all over the globe to attend the event, the government and the World Bank have agreed that transportation-related issues are not something to be concerned about because the venues have prepared various arrival and departure points.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said earlier this month that the ministry had prepared several airports close to Bali as alternative transportation points, such as Juanda Airport and Banyuwangi Airport in East Java, Adi Soemarmo Airport and Ahmad Yani Airport in Central Java, Lombok Airport in West Nusa Tenggara, Hasanuddin Airport in South Sulawesi and Syamsudin Noor Airport in South Kalimantan.
Over the course of the meetings, activity at Ngurah Rai Airport is estimated to increase to 35 takeoffs or landings per hour from the current 28, with a daily capacity of up to 300 movements, the minister added.
Furthermore, the meetings could bring even more revenue from tourism, especially for Bali, Theis said.
“You will have these 20,000 people [attending the meetings] to help you advertise Bali,” he said, adding that the government had told the World Bank that it would offer leisure packages for participants during their free time.
Indonesia was chosen three years ago to host the 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings as it is held once every three years outside the IMF and World Bank’s headquarters in Washington D.C.
The meetings outside the headquarters last took place in Lima in 2015. The upcoming event would make Indonesia the third Southeast Asian country to host the conference after Thailand in 1991 and Singapore in 2006.
Organized by a developing yet emerging economy, the 2018 meeting will discuss issues such as capital mobilization, poverty eradication and aid effectiveness.
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