Bappenas agrees to Rp250.5 billion grant from Canada, Germany

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of National Development Planning/ National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) has agreed to cooperate on development programs with Canada and Germany on Rp250.5 billion total grants for regional economic growth.

"The grants will be used to boost regional investment, develop human resource capacity, reduce poverty, and build economic growth centers," Bappenas secretary Slamet Seno Adji stated here on Friday.

The agreement regarding the grant is part of a memorandum of understanding signed by Bappenas, the Embassy of Canada in Indonesia, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Adji noted that the Canadian government has provided Rp186.7 billion, or 18 million CAD, grant through its National Support for Local Investment Climates (NSLIC), which will be used to improve the business climate and support services in Indonesia.

The program aims to boost employment opportunities for workers and increase the income of the lower middle class.

NSLIC will target two provinces and five selected districts in Sulawesi Island for the implementation of the program for a period of seven years.

"The national implementation of the program will be coordinated by the Secretariat of the Regional Economic Development Coordinating Team (TKPED) and the Local and Regional Economic Development Support Facility," he stated.

Moreover, GIZ is providing a grant worth Rp63.8 billion, or 4.4 million euros, through the Sustainable Regional Economic Growth and Investment Programme (SREGIP), focused on increasing regional competitiveness and achieving a sustainable economy.

SREGIP will be implemented in the provinces of West Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara for a period of 2.5 years.

Imron Bulkin, Bappenas deputy for regional development and local autonomy, noted that the programs will not be implemented for infrastructure development but rather for capacity development of human resources.

"For instance, providing facilities and policies in order to increase investment in the regions," Bulkin emphasized.

"Canada and Germany will act as the executors, and Bappenas is going to evaluate the programs," he added.

Reported by Indra Arief Pribadi