Thursday, 12 December 2019

Jokowi Tells Ministers to Curb CAD, Improve Trade

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Laila Afifa

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  • President Joko Widodo or Jokowi and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin preside over a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office, Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, Thursday, October 31, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    President Joko Widodo or Jokowi and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin preside over a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office, Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, Thursday, October 31, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo instructed Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto and ministers under Airlangga’s coordination to immediately narrow down the current account deficit (CAD) as well as balance out the country's trade performances. The President opined this was an urgent agenda amid the economic slowdown.

    "I’d say there is an urgent agenda under this condition. I have asked ministers under Pak Airlangga to immediately curb CAD and the deficit of trade balance. We will focus on that," said the President at the 2019 Indonesia Banking Expo at Fairmont Hotel, South Jakarta, Wednesday, November 6.

    Thus, he ensured that the government would push export-oriented policies, further boost the production of substitutes for imported goods, and increase the competitiveness of export products.

    He mentioned that Indonesia should no longer imported petrochemical products, while the country could independently produce it instead. The halt was considered beneficial to contribute to suppressing imports.

    The former Solo Mayor went on to say that Indonesia, with the high production on coal, did not need to import liquid petroleum gas (LPG) given the fact that by adapting proper technology, coal could be processed into LPG.

    "This is similar to avtur production. Our palm oil could be processed to be B20 (20 percent blended biodiesel), B30 and even B50. If that's the case, why do we have to export the raw material? This is the root of problems in our CAD and trade balance," the President remarked.

    Apart from addressing CAD and trade balance, Jokowi was determined to focus on policies to create jobs since some 7 million people were still unemployed.

    DIAS PRASONGKO