RI needs to improve infrastructure to face ASEAN single market

Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia has to improve its infrastructure to face the ASEAN single market in 2015 because a good infrastructure condition would affect the flow of goods and attract investment, economic observer of the Civil Professional Society Group (MPM) Poltak Hotradero said here on Thursday.

"The gates leading to many airports and seaports, for example, are in a very bad condition and too narrow. Many foreign investors cancel their business plan after observing the bad condition of the ports` infrastructure," he said.

The next thing Indonesia has to do is to prepare infrastructure for the processing of its natural resources, either mining resources or agricultural products.

"So far, Indonesia`s natural resources processing, such as gold and tin minings, still depends on foreign countries. We should be independent if we want to compete," he said.

Besides, the quality of its human resources must also be improved so that Indonesia`s human resources would not be lagging behind those of Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand, he said.

On the implementation of the ASEAN single market which has been brought forward from 2020 to 2015, Poltak said that Indonesia was now ready because it had the mineral resources and plantations as its main assets to face the competition in the single market.

He said with the single market, the extensive areas in Indonesia provides a vast market which would have an impact on the improvement of the people`s economy.

ASEAN`s economic growth rate of 6-7 percent per annum constituted a promising growth for world trade development, Poltak said.

"The economic growth of the advanced states such as the United States, Japan and European nations, reached only 1-2 percent yearly. Therefore, they are competing to expand their businesses to the ASEAN region which they considered a very potential market," he added.

In order to face its main competitors such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, Indonesia should map out an apt market system. So far, Indonesia has yet to be able to market its automotive products to Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, for example, because these two nations had not yet needed them, he said.(*)
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