Trade Minister Clarifies Jokowi's Call for Anti-Foreign Products



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaTrade Minister Muhammad Lutfi admitted that he had done wrong following President Joko Widodo or Jokowi's statement that calling for the public to despise foreign products.

    “I appeal to media not to exaggerate this issue. What is wrong is the Trade Minister, who is me, for giving him (the President) a report just before the event started,” said Lutfi in a video conference on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

    The President’s statement, according to Lutfi, was a form of disappointment with the existence of unfair practices in digital trade against Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). “Not only his disappointment but also ours because these unfair practices have caused massive damage to the development of MSMEs.”

    The minister recalled the report was about unfair practices such as predatory pricing which were allegedly committed by global e-commerce companies so that there was no fair trade and benefits for buyers and sellers.

    The report, he added, was submitted to the President about two days before the Trade Ministry’s Meeting was held and was discussed before the event began.

    Lutfi confirmed that the President hates the illegal practice of trade as it weakens MSME players. The report was also strengthened by an article published by an international organization regarding the destruction of MSME activities in the Islamic fashion sector in Indonesia.

    However, Lutfi asserted that President Jokowi also did not support protectionism as the government believes that this policy will not provide added value for Indonesia's welfare.

    Read: Remarks by President Jokowi Calls for Anti-foreign Products