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Widodo's first three years marked by stumbling progress

Infrastructure investment and regional development have much further to go

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, wearing a helmet, attends the opening ceremony of a newly constructed highway in Medan, Sumatra, on Oct.13. (Courtesy of Presidential Secretariat of Indonesia)

JAKARTA Indonesian President Joko Widodo marked three years in office on Oct. 20. He swept into power on strong support from the poor and on pledges of spurring economic development through boosted infrastructure spending.

So far, he has achieved some success. Recent data show that the gap between rich and poor is narrowing and Indonesia's economy is growing at a stable pace of around 5%. But when Widodo took office, he had targeted 7% growth. For 2017, the government tempered expectations to target economic expansion of 5.4%, but it is missing even that.

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