Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has laid the blame for the recent and ongoing global uncertainties squarely on men – and she demanded they take the responsibility for fixing them.
In a speech at the Mandiri Investment Forum in Jakarta on Wednesday, she said that the uncertain global conditions in 2019—caused by the United States-China trade war, Brexit and protests in many parts of the world—were likely to persist in 2020.
“These uncertainties are actually man-made and I’d really like to underline the word ‘man’ here because almost all of them are caused by men,” Sri Mulyani said, citing the protests in Hong Kong as an exception, as the autonomous state is led by chairwoman Carrie Lam.
She went on to say that the “men-made” events caused last year’s world economic growth and trade to reach their lowest point since the global financial crisis in 2008.
The World Bank projected the global economy to grow by only 2.9 percent in 2019 as global trade and manufacturing activities slowed down last year as a result of trade tensions and financial pressure in advanced countries.
In the meantime, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced last October that it forecast global trade to rise by only 1.2 percent in 2019.
“Men created these problems, so men have to fix them,” Sri Mulyani said, followed by applause and cheers from the audience.
Despite the situation, she said the government was still optimistic that Indonesia could still maintain robust economic growth while also remaining vigilant about the challenges that lay ahead.
She also said that the government would continue to work on its policy choices and utilize to the utmost the available instruments to maintain growth.
“We will also conduct structural reform to make sure the good conditions will be sustained and improve in the future,” she said.