This opinion piece in the Jakarta Globe gets straight to the point: Indonesia needs infrastructure improvement to advance, and needs it now. Written by the executive vice chairman of infrastructure investors MEC Holdings, it describes how Indonesia’s transport and industrial networks have suffered for decades from increasing demand with little supply. ‘Virtually every aspect’ of the country’s infrastructure needs urgent attention to release the brakes on the economy and enable the government to take GDP growth from 4.5% in 2009 to its target of 7% by 2014.

Indonesia plans to spend US$140 billion on infrastructure in public-private partnerships (PPPs) over the next five years, not such a large amount when compared to India’s promise of $1 trillion and China’s $35 trillion over similar timeframes. MEC has invested $5 billion and is currently involved in the construction of a new 130km railway in East Kalimantan, an alumina smelter, a fertilizer plant, a power plant, a coal mine, a railway and a port terminal.