The government is maintaining its decision to appoint Bali as host of the 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank annual meeting to be held on Oct 8 to 14, amid concerns over ongoing volcanic activity on Mount Agung.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, an organizing committee chairman, said on Friday that the volcanic activity would not affect Nusa Dua, where the meeting would take place.
“The government will not change any planned activities in Bali. We also have no plans to change the location of the IMF-World Bank meeting,” he said during his visit to a volcanic observation post in Karangasem regency, Bali.
The danger zone only included areas within an 8 and 10 kilometer radius of the volcano, while Nusa Dua is 72 kilometers from the volcano, said the minister.
Mt. Agung erupted from Nov 25 to 29, resulting in the evacuation of people living near the volcano and the closure of I Ngurah Rai International Airport and Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara in late November.
The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has maintained the volcano’s alert status.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati added that she would inform the IMF about the government’s decision and that the organizing committee team from Washington would also visit Bali on Jan. 29 to make direct observations. She said the visit was a chance for Bali to regain international trust as the volcanic eruption had caused a significant decline in tourist arrivals to the resort island. (bbn, Anton Hermansyah, The Jakarta Post)