Minister of Coordinating Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan (center) during World Bank-IMF Meeting preparation. (Photo by: Ministry of Coordinating Maritime Affairs)

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)Indonesian government spent Rp566 billion (US$39.01 million) on the preparation of International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank (WB) meeting that will be held on October 12-14, 2018 in Bali.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Friday (03/08) that the spending was below the initial budget of Rp810 billion (US$55.85million). He asked all parties not to argue about this spending as it would generate a larger return for the Indonesian economy.

Pandjaitan considered the spending as an investment that brings some benefits including foreign exchange to Indonesia’s economy, especially from the tourism sector.

Overall, Pandjaitan added, the preparation of IMF-World Bank Meeting reached 85 percent including venue, security, and transportation. “The remaining 15 percent will be executed in the meeting, almost finished,” he added, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

However, the government has not finished the expansion of I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali and targeted its completion by early September 2018.

The airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I planned to widen the airport’s apron to 48 hectares from 43 hectares to serve IMF-World Bank meeting delegation. This expansion will raise around 1.2 million passengers per year.

Infrastructure Financing

Pandjaitan stated that the government will offer various infrastructure projects in the meeting such as financing of LRT projects in Bandung and Palembang, waste management, and solar panels.

In addition, Bank Indonesia‘s governor Perry Warjiyo said the government expected to get infrastructure project financing signing agreements in the meeting.

He added infrastructure projects can use various financings such as blended financing that refers to a scheme that mix government and commercial financial institutions funds. The Indonesian government targets US$500 billion in the blended financing scheme in the next five years.

It is not the first time the Indonesian government uses the IMF-World Bank Meeting to raise infrastructure projects financing. During the Spring Meeting of Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington DC on April 16-22, 2018, Indonesian government offered the blended financing scheme to lure investment in 10 major infrastructure projects.

The projects include waste management facilities, geothermal plant, Kertajati Airport in West Java and all construction of LRT projects in the country.

Furthermore, Warjiyo added the meeting will discuss the digital economy and digital finance in one of the panels in the meeting namely Bali FinTech Agenda. He expected the meeting will raise an agreed formula that can be used to develop FinTech in the world.

Other issues that will be discussed at the meeting is Islamic finance and women empowerment. “The meeting will discuss development issues,” he said, as quoted by Kontan.