Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Papua Provincial Government (Pemprov) continues to increase investment through massive infrastructure development in its region.

Assistant for the Economy and People's Welfare of the Regional Secretariat of Papua Province, Muhammad Musaad, told ANTARA in Jayapura on Monday that this could be seen from the construction of several infrastructure projects, such as the Youtefa Bridge, which was expected to develop the economy in its sorrounding areas.

"Papua will not be able to develop if there is no investment, so we hope that some officials in the central government from Papua can now more clearly see the needs of this region," he said.

According to Musaad, in addition to private investment, his party expects investment from the ranks of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), which must develop a pattern from government-to-government, and not from business-to-business.

"The reason is because Papua still needs qualified infrastructure, so that its competitiveness can be improved," he said.

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He explained that it was undeniable that now the investment costs in Papua are still relatively expensive, so investors are still considering whether to invest in Papua.

"So we hope that investors in the country can take a large role," he said.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) earlier inaugurated the Youtefa Bridge, also called Holtekamp Bridge, in Papua Province’s capital city, Monday, the day Indonesians commemorated Youth Pledge Day.

"I am upbeat about this Youtefa Bridge being cared about and kept clean," President Jokowi remarked, while opening the 732-meter-long and 21-meter-wide bridge at 3:30 p.m. local time.

The president said he expects the bridge, whose construction began in 2015 and cost some Rp1.8 trillion, would help boost the province's economic development.

In the meantime, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Wempi Wetipo had earlier stated that the construction of Youtefa Bridge is part of President Jokowi's commitment to speeding up infrastructure development in Papua Province.

Wetipo urged the people, especially those residing in Jayapura, to help in maintaining the bridge.

"Please take care of this bridge. Do not vandalize it again. This is proof of the president's commitment to us," he noted, adding that President Jokowi cares about the rapid development of infrastructure facilities in Papua.

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Translator: Hendrina, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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