Building Better Roads to Growth

May 26, 2011

World Bank supports Indonesian efforts to improve roads and boost economy in West Indonesia

Jakarta, May 26, 2011 – The World Bank is set to help the Indonesian government build better roads and bring the country closer to reaching its medium term growth targets. The Western Indonesia National Roads Improvement will improve over 700 kilometers of roads and around 200 meters of bridges by bringing them up to national standards. The project is expected to create multiple benefits: goods will be delivered quicker and cheaper; less time and money will be spent on traveling; people will have better access to jobs and markets in urban areas; and maintaining the roads means more job opportunities.

“Successful implementation of priority infrastructure projects will be essential for Indonesia to emerge as a strong middle income country in the coming decade. To this end, the Indonesian government has made increasing investment in infrastructure one of its key priorities, and since 2004 has quadrupled its national roads budget,” says Stefan G. Koeberle, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia. “Through this national roads improvement project, the World Bank is contributing to the governments’ financing effort and is also sharing its global experience to manage disaster risks in the road sector.”

“A number of road sections along the West Corridor of Sumatra are relatively narrow, 4.5 meters wide, and have reached their capacity. And yet, the West Coast of Sumatra is undergoing an agricultural and industrial transformation. This project is timely and will contribute to the region’s development,” says Mustapha Benmaamar, World Bank Transport Sector Coordinator for Indonesia.

Under this project, the Directorate-General of Highways’ Environment Unit at the Ministry of Public Works will also be trained to better manage disaster risks. Since West Sumatra is prone to earthquakes and landslides, the project also features a contingency component for disaster preparedness.

The Western Indonesia National Roads Improvement Project will be financed by a US$ 250 million loan that was approved today by the World Bank’s executive board. The Indonesian government will also contribute US$ 100 million, bringing the project to a total value of US$ 350 million.

Media Contacts
In Jakarta
Randy Salim
Tel : (62-21) 5299-3259
In Washington, DC
Mohamad Al-Arief
Tel : (1-202) 458-5964