TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo demanded ambassadors and country’s delegates in overseas to beef up the economic diplomacy that he considered the most needed by Indonesia at present.
During his opening speech in the meeting of Indonesia’s chief representatives and Foreign Affairs Ministry at State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday, January 9, the President stated that ambassadors have a constitutional mandate as peace agents.
“[However] we want all to focus on economic diplomacy. The focus of 70-80 percent of what we have is on economic diplomacy because that is what our country needs right now,” Widodo remarked.
He stressed the importance of ambassadors having the role of the investment agency. Thus he appealed to them to acknowledge any sector with investment potential especially ones that could be the country’s priority. “Sectors that related to goods or products of import substitutions.”
He mentioned several examples, such as the idea of turning palm oil into avtur or jet fuel considering Indonesia still depended on the import and developing B20 (20 percent biodiesel), B30, B50, and even up to B100.
Jokowi opined that this was necessary as an attempt to encourage Indonesia as an exporter of at least semi-finished goods, rather than raw materials. “Should we are able to produce B50 (50 percent biodiesel), our bargaining position will increase,” he said.