The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed his ministers to prepare North Sumatra to become an international hub because geographically, the province is strategically positioned in the international shipping line.
“Geographically, North Sumatra has a strategic position in the Malacca Strait shipping line, which is near Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand,” said Jokowi while opening a limited Cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday as reported by tempo.co.
The meeting particularly discussed national strategic projects in a number of regions.
As an initial step, Jokowi stressed the government needed to boost the development of infrastructure such as seaports, airports and toll roads.
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Among the national strategic projects in North Sumatra is the construction of a toll road connecting Tebing Tinggi, Pematangsiantar, Parapat, Tarutung and Sibolga that could be integrated into the construction of railways from Tebing Tinggi to Kuala Tanjung, Jokowi added.
“The readiness of the infrastructure will speed up the development of special economic zones (KEK) in nearby areas like the one in Sei Mangkei and other industrial areas that we have been preparing to become engines of economic growth in Sumatra,” Jokowi said.
He also reminded the ministers about the development of the province as a major tourist destination with Toba Lake as its icon.
“We have to seriously develop Lake Toba as a tourist destination. We have to develop hotels and restaurants as well as prepare human resources,” the President added. (bbn)