G20: Access to Clean Water Can Spur Economic Growth
Ensuring the availability of access to clean water through infrastructure development using new technology will encourage and increase economic growth, according to Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono.
"Cooperation and regulation of new science and technology in the maintenance of water resources are very important to increase economic growth and (ensure) equal development between regions," he said at a High-Level Experts and Leaders' Panel (HELP) Conference organized under the Indonesian G20 Presidency here, on Friday.
The G20 or Group of Twenty is a major forum for international economic cooperation whose members comprise the world's largest economies. G20 comprises 19 countries and 1 European Union institution. The G20 nations account for more than 60 percent of the world's population, 75 percent of global trade, and 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). This year, Indonesia is holding the presidency of the grouping, and will host the G20 Summit in Bali on November 15 and 16, 2022.
Infrastructure development for providing access to clean water to the community is one of President Joko Widodo's priority agendas, Hadimuljono said. The development of water resource infrastructure with the help of new technology is one of the priority agendas since it can equalize development among regions, which can ultimately encourage economic growth, he added. Therefore, the government has the responsibility to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all communities, develop better settlements, and restore the environment to address climate change, the minister said.
Moreover, the burden on society has become heavier after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in worsening living conditions, including the impact on the social and economic system. Hadimuljono said that currently, there are 2.4 billion people on earth who are in need of clean water and sanitation access. In addition, disasters triggered by climate change will result in long-term investment in water infrastructure, he said. Therefore, the government is continuing to synergize for meeting clean water and sanitation needs.
He emphasized that cooperation and the sharing of know-how on new technology for water resource infrastructure development will help increase economic growth and equalize people's welfare.
"Infrastructure development, including water resources, is one of the President's priority programs," he added.