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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help the government of

  • Indonesia draw up an inter-island transport project to boost communication, trade and tourism, through a US$1mn technical assistance (TA) grant.

    The grant is from the Japan Special Fund, financed by the government of Japan.

    The TA will focus on eastern Indonesia, comprising Kalimantan, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, and Papua, a region with a population of 37 million spread over 1.3 million square kilometres.

    Although the region contains several relatively affluent provinces, its development lags behind that of western Indonesia (Java, Bali, and Sumatra), mainly due to low population density, the remoteness of some communities, inadequate transport, and high transport costs.

    Inter-island transport services are hampered by limited planning and management capability, low efficiency and poor infrastructure, including an ageing transport fleet.

    The TA will draw up an integrated inter-island transport plan for eastern Indonesia, recommend priority projects, and support policy and institutional reform.

    “The priority will be on improving priority inter-island transport infrastructure and reorganising transport networks to improve service and safety,” says Pierre Poinsignon, head of the project administration unit in the ADB’s Southeast Asia Infrastructure Division.

    The total cost of the TA is estimated at US$1.275mn, of which the government will provide about US$275,000 equivalent.

    The TA is scheduled for completion in February 2004.