“The ability to manage this pandemic is one of Indonesia’s great strengths in managing other major agendas.”
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said Indonesia is a country capable of facing a very difficult global crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by the Ukraine-Russia war.
The president made the remark at the annual session of the People’s Consultative Assembly in the context of the 77th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence at the parliament building here on Tuesday.
“In the midst of tough challenges, we should be grateful that Indonesia is a country that is able to face this global crisis. Our country, Indonesia, is one of the countries that has succeeded in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, including the top five countries with the most vaccinations in the world, namely 432 million doses of vaccines that we have injected,” President Jokowi said.
In facing the pandemic, Indonesia has shown itself to be a formidable nation, the president said, adding that all components of the nation are synergizing with each other in efforts to deal with the pandemic.
“The hamlet community and the village community protect and share with each other. Ulamas, religious leaders, and traditional leaders are actively assisting the community,” he added.
The president further said that socio-religious organizations are moving quickly to help the community, and health workers, the military and the police, and the ranks of the bureaucracy are synergizing with each other, working together. State institutions are also supporting the government in dealing with this uncertainty.
The ability to manage this pandemic is one of Indonesia’s great strengths in managing other major agendas, the head of state said.
“This is our first strength to build our country, Indonesia,” he said.
Indonesia’s second strength is its abundant natural, and if it can be managed wisely and sustainably, the president believes that this vast archipelago with the richest biodiversity in the world would surely become Indonesia’s great strength.
“The condition is one, it must be downstreamed and industrialized domestically, so that the added value can be maximized for the national interest. This would create jobs, increase exports, generate foreign exchange, increase state income, and boost economic growth,” the president noted.
Indonesia’s third strength, the president continued, is the demographic bonus.
“The very large population, and dominated by young people of productive age, as well as the increasing purchasing power of the people, would become the driving force of our national economy in facing the global competition,” he said.
Finally, the fourth strength is international trust which has increased sharply, as shown by the acceptance of Indonesia as a bridge for peace between Russia and Ukraine.
Indonesia is also trusted by the United Nations as a Champions from the Global Crisis Response Group for handling global crises, on food, energy and financial crises.
“In 2022, we will become the President of the G20, the organization of the 20 largest economies in the world. Next year, become chairman of ASEAN countries. This means that we are at the peak of global leadership and have a great opportunity to build international cooperation,” Jokowi stated.
The head of state added that this great trust from the international community can also be felt domestically, and the government continues to carry out structural reforms to support competitiveness and the business climate, in addition to the investment ecosystem and the growth of MSMEs that are also continuously improved.
“Downstream and domestic manufacturing also continue to grow rapidly. The investment growth has also increased sharply, where currently 52 percent are outside Java. This means that our economy is not only growing rapidly, but also growing evenly, towards an Indonesia-centric development,” the president said.
Economy grows positively
In his speech, the head of state also said that in the midst of the tough challenges of the global crisis, the Indonesian economy managed to grow positively and the trade balance was also in surplus.
“The economy managed to grow positively at 5.44 percent in the second quarter of 2022. The trade balance was also in surplus for 27 consecutive months, and in the first half of 2022 the surplus was around 364 trillion rupiahs (some 24.6 billion U.S. dollars),” he noted.
Indonesia’s inflation was also controlled at around 4.9 percent, below the ASEAN average.
“This figure is far below the ASEAN average inflation, which is around 7 percent. It is far below the inflation of developed countries which is around 9 percent,” he added.
According to Jokowi, until the middle of 2022, the state budget also has a surplus of 106 trillion rupiahs (about 7.1 billion dollars), and this year, the government is able to provide subsidies for fuel, LPG, and electricity of 502 trillion rupiahs (some 33.9 billion dollars) so that energy prices in the community do not soar.
“We should be grateful for this achievement. Indonesia’s economic fundamentals remain very good in the midst of a turbulent world economy. On the one hand, we must remain vigilant, and on the other hand, we must continue with the nation’s big agendas to achieve Advanced Indonesia,” he said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window