Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Batam, a special economic zone, and its surrounding areas should be developed optimally, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said.

"The acceleration of development in Batam has been discussed repeatedly. We should develop Batam optimally," Jokowi noted during a limited meeting here on Wednesday.

The development of Batam is expected to attract more investors.

On the occasion, the president called on the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution to convey the developments in Batam.

"How is the process of transformation from free trade zone to special economic zone," the president remarked.

The president also requested a report on matters related to licensing and legal certainty for investors.

"Particularly, infrastructures, ports, and other problems," the president remarked.

The limited meeting was also attended by Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto, Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri, and Head of Batam Indonesia Free Zone Authority (BIFZA) Lukita Dinarsyah Tuwo.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani earlier revealed that funds amounting to Rp400 trillion will be allocated in the State Budget for the development of infrastructure across Indonesia in 2019.

Funds for the 2019 State Budget will reach a total of Rp2,461 trillion for expenses, the minister revealed while speaking at a seminar on the Central Java Investment and Business Projection in 2019, here, on Wednesday.

"The huge sum aims to improve the quality of economy and public welfare," she added.

The minister outlined that allocation for infrastructure will reach Rp400 trillion; health sector will reach Rp120 trillion; and education will reach Rp500 trillion.

Funds amounting to Rp860 trillion will be transferred from the State Budget (APBN) to the regional administrations` bank accounts, she added.

In 2019, Indonesia will enjoy a healthy APBN and protected economic momentum, the minister affirmed.

Reporting by Agus Salim, Azis Kurmala
Editing by Bustanuddin

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Yosep Hariyadi
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