TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed optimism that the current account deficit and trade balance sustained by Indonesia for decades could be settled within three years as long as the country focuses on the downstream and industrialization programs in the mining sector.
“I have calculated it three weeks ago. If we are focused on the downstream and industrialization, finished and semi-finished goods, I believe that in no longer than three years, all deficit issues can be resolved,” said the President during his opening remarks at the event of Indonesian Mining Association Award in Ritz Carlton, Jakarta, Wednesday, November 20.
The President reiterated that the mining exports substantially contributed to the country’s trade balance. But as a result, the domestic economy became dependent deeply on it. So he called on business players to no longer export raw materials, but process it first into ready-to-use or semi-finished products.
“So our country will gain added value, generate huge multiplier effects, and of course, create employment needed by the people,” he remarked.
The former Jakarta governor also believed that Indonesia could trim the trade deficit should it only focuses on the downstream and industrialization programs of one commodity, such as nickel. “Let alone tin, coal, and copper. There are so much [we can gain] from there,” he added.
Moreover, Jokowi assessed that Indonesia could immediately wipe out deficits as long as it is capable of processing other mining commodities, for instance, processing coal into LPG, methanol, until petrochemicals.
AHMAD FAIZ IBNU SANI