Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) officiated the operation of the Tebing Tinggi-Indrapura and the Indrapura-Limapuluh toll road sections in North Sumatra Province on Wednesday.

In a statement from the Presidential Secretariat, the president noted that the two toll road infrastructures are part of the Trans-Sumatra toll road that is targeted to increase transportation connectivity to the Lake Toba tourist area and the Sei Mangkei Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

"Today, I officiate the Indrapura-Limapuluh toll road and the Kuala Tanjung-Tebing Tinggi-Parapat, Tebing Tinggi-Indrapura section in Batubara District, North Sumatra Province," Jokowi noted in his speech at the inauguration.

Jokowi remarked that the Tebing Tinggi-Indrapura toll road, stretching for 20.4 kilometers, was funded with the government budget amounting to Rp3.06 trillion (US$190 million) and the Indrapura-Limapuluh toll road section, with a length of 15.6 kilometers, was built with a cost of Rp1.67 trillion (US$106 million).

The head of state remarked that the two toll road sections would improve transportation connectivity to the tourism area in Lake Toba and increase logistic speed to the Kuala Tanjung Port and various economic activities related to the Sei Mangkei SEZ.

"We hope that this will also develop quickly and speed up travel time from Medan and its surroundings to Kisaran and Riau Province to encourage economic growth in the region and surrounding areas," he remarked.

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He is also optimistic that construction of the toll road will increase investment interest in the surrounding area to develop the various potentials in North Sumatra Province.

In addition, the president believes the toll road operation can increase tourist visits to the super-priority destination, Lake Toba, and its surroundings as well as cut logistics costs to the Kuala Tanjung Port and Sei Mangkei SEZ.

"We hope this toll road would increase regional competitiveness, encourage the growth of new businesses, and create new job opportunities," he emphasized.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Chairman of Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Meutya Hafid, and regional officials also accompanied the president during the toll road inauguration.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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