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The taxing issue of economic independence

People use ATMs at a shopping mall in Jakarta. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

JAKARTA -- Anyone who makes the trip from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to central Jakarta is forced to confront the reality of Indonesia's underdeveloped infrastructure. Going by car or bus is the only option, and though the journey is just 20km, a person can easily spend hours on badly congested roads before reaching their hotel.

     The pace of progress has often been frustratingly slow. A subway project in central Jakarta that has been in the works since 1980 did not break ground until 2013. Service is slated to begin by 2018, but there is already talk of possible delays.

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