TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has once again urged the public to appreciate local products and hate on foreign products. In opening the national meeting of HIPMI (Association of Young Indonesian Businesspeople) the president argued that he has the right to make such a statement.
“I think it’s okay to not like foreign products. Why are we not allowed to convey our dislike. Why is something like that suddenly grab attention, we’re allowed to disfavor foreign products, right?” said the President in the opening of the national meeting on March 5.
Despite his rather xenophobic statement, Jokowi believes that there are requirements to attract brand loyalty for domestic products such as having a competitive price and great quality.
Even though he made such a statement, the President asserted that Indonesia adopts an open economy as he views that protectionism would only harm the country economically.
“However, we must not fall victim to unfair practices from global trade. We do not want that,” said Jokowi.
Previously in an opening speech at the 2021 Trade Ministry national meeting on Thursday, the President called for the development of local products to be handled more seriously. He even went as far to encourage a xenophobic campaign against foreign products.
“The appeal to love Indonesian products must be promoted constantly, as well as the campaign to hate on foreign products. Not only [should we] campaign for love but also hate,” said the President in the meeting at the State Palace on March 4. “Love local products. Hate foreign products.”
President Jokowi believes that a stronger branding treatment must be conducted to entice people to better accept local products rather than foreign products.