In yesterday's cabinet reshuffle Budi Karya Sumadi replaced Ignasius Jonan as Indonesia's new transportation minister. Sumadi is instructed by President Joko Widodo to improve Indonesia's connectivity - on land, sea and air - with the aim to empower the people. Currently, Indonesia is still plagued by weak connectivity, mainly due to the lack of quality and quantity of infrastructure as well as weak public transportation services. If these issues are improved, then businesses will become more competitive on lower logistics costs, while people's access to healthcare services improves.
Sumadi, who previously served as president director of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II, also sees a big task in combating the high degree of bureaucracy (red tape) that exists at the ministry as well as at the nation's state-owned transportation operators.
Although serving as president director of Angkasa Pura II, Sumadi graduated with a major focus on architecture at Jogjakarta's Gajah Mada University. Prior to his position at Angkasa Pura II he served as president director at Pembangunan Jaya Ancol and Jakarta Propertindo.
Meanwhile, Indonesia National Air Carrier Association (INACA) Secretary General Tengku Burhanuddin hopes to see better growth and development for Indonesia's aviation industry - particularly in terms of operations at the nation's airports - now Sumadi has been appointed as new transportation minister considering Sumadi's history as president director of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II.
The Indonesian National Shipowner's Association (INSA) said it is ready to cooperate with the new transportation minister in order to improve Indonesia's maritime sector. INSA General Chairman Carmelita Hartoto sees various challenges in the nation's shipping industry that need to be overcome in order to become a maritime power. One of the most notable challenges is the beyond cabotage program.
In 2005 Indonesia implemented a cabotage policy (previously foreign-owned vessels were allowed to operate relatively freely within the country), a policy that has been successful reflected by the fact that the number of locally flagged vessels almost tripled from 5.6 million gross tons in 2005 to 19.2 million gross tons in 2014. The government under the leadership of Joko Widodo remains committed to cabotage and to boost the Indonesian fleet in order to develop a sea highway program that will connect the archipelago more thoroughly. Indonesia's beyond cabotage program aims to boost the role of Indonesia's fleet in international trade.
Meanwhile, former transportation minister Ignasius Jonan who was replaced by Sumadi at Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle, thanked the Indonesian people, President Widodo, and his staff at the ministry for having the confidence in him to serve as minister during the past 21 months.