Jokowi Upset over Asphalt Imports albeit Great Potential of Domestic Production
27 September 2022 20:29 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo expressed his disappointment over the surge in asphalt imports after monitoring a state-run asphalt factory PT Wika Bitumen in Buton Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
He asserted that Buton has great potential for asphalt production reaching 662 million tons. But instead, Indonesia imported up to five million tons of the commodity per year.
“The production here (Buton) does not even run, but imports continue,” said the President as broadcasted on the Presidential Secretariat’s Youtube channel.
On this basis, he urged the import of asphalt to be stopped in the coming year or until 2024. The domestic industry, he added, would be encouraged to meet the needs of the raw materials for road construction.
“So we have decided earlier, there will be no asphalt imports in two years. [The production) must be carried out by Buton, be it by SOEs, private sectors, or collaboration with foreign parties,” he said.
The state head also instructed ministers to review the development of the asphalt industry in Buton and expected the downstream process to be carried out in order to create added value.
“We want added value from the asphalt in Buton because there is a huge potential of 662 million tons [of the commodity] here,” he emphasized.
In his calculations, the downstream asphalt industry in the region will increase state revenues, save foreign exchange as it cuts imports, and encourage the use of local content and domestic goods usage intensification (P3DN). Thus, Jokowi hoped that Buton could relive its asphalt-producing industry.
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