Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called for the acceleration of strategic projects in South Sumatra, especially infrastructure projects, to encourage the economic development and support the 2018 Asian Games.

Jokowi made his statement during a meeting on the evaluation of national strategic projects and implementation of priority programs in South Sumatra here on Tuesday.

"I want the authority to focus on the development of transportation infrastructure and easing inter-region connectivity in South Sumatra province such as toll road, railways, and LRT, because it would be needed to encourage the economic development in South Sumatra," the president noted.

The project must be hastened to support the organizing of the regional sport event 2018 Asian Games.

Jokowi has also called for the acceleration of development of Tanjung Api-Api Special Economic Zone (KEK) and to study the possibility of developing Tanjung Carat.

"I am sure that the development of an economic zone would create new jobs and encourage economic growth in South Sumatra, which was recorded at 5.03 percent in 2016, slightly higher than the national average growth," he remarked.

The KEK is expected to accommodate investments in processing industry sector, as well as automotive, electronic, and manufacturing sectors.

On the other hand, it would be equally important to improve productivity in agriculture sector and increase farmers term of trade (NTP), despite the industries major contribution to the regions economy, Jokowi added.

"An increase in the agriculture productivity and farmers term of trade should also become the governments concern," he remarked.

Currently, farmers term of trade index in South Sumatra has been positioned below 100 with declining trend, which means that farmers income from the increased price of agricultural products is still lower than their expenditure.

"This means that we have to work hard to improve farmers welfare in South Sumatra," Jokowi revealed. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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