New ASEAN Secretariat building to be completed by early 2019
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has targeted the construction of the new ASEAN Secretariat building in South Jakarta to be finished by early 2019.
Jokowi received a delegation from the ASEAN Secretariat led by Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi at the Merdeka Palace on Friday. They discussed the new secretariat building that had commenced construction on Jan. 8.
" The Indonesian government has worked hard to ensure that the construction of the new ASEAN Secretariat is finished by the beginning of 2019," Jokowi said during the meeting on Friday.
The President went on to say that the new building should be fully utilized to accommodate ASEAN meetings in the future.
The new ASEAN Secretariat building, located next to the current building, will have two 16-floor towers and cost about Rp 500 billion (US$37.3 million). The construction is expected to take 395 working days.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Lim expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian government for providing the new ASEAN Secretariat building, which will be five-times the size of the current building.
He said during the meeting with Jokowi, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, they also discussed various ways to make the secretariat more efficient and interactive.
"[Jokowi's] message is [...] to make sure that the secretariat is efficient and able to help the membership in giving policy options," Lim said, adding that Jokowi also wished for ASEAN to remain united. (dmr)
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