November 23, 2022
JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on his ministers to be prudent in policymaking as the country prepares to enter 2023.
In a keynote speech to open the national convention of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (HIPMI), the President said the “debacle” in the United Kingdom had begun with a little mistake.
“In the UK, a slight mistake in policy has translated into an outcome that affects everything; we do not want to get into such a situation,” Jokowi said on Monday.
He did not specify what “mistake” he was referring to. The UK is struggling with a cost-of-living crisis as inflation hit a 41-year high last month, driven largely by high energy prices.
The UK government has created an energy-supply shortage by massively reducing imports from Russia, with the UK Office for National Statistics reporting in August that there “were no imports of fuels from Russia in June 2022 for the first time since records began”.
Jokowi noted that several countries had been struggling to maintain their macroeconomic conditions amid global-economic uncertainty.
As such, he said, his ministers were always on his watch to not commit any mistakes, in particular if such mistakes would affect the wellbeing of the people.
“Don’t be kleru [wrong] in devising policies,” Jokowi continued.
While boasting about the relatively strong domestic-economic performance, which Jokowi said saw Indonesia at its “peak of global leadership”, the commander-in-chief said the slowdown in global-economic growth would impact Indonesia if there were no sound strategy in response.
He said that, in other countries, prices could increase between 30 and 50 percent because of uncertainty about access and stockpiles.
In the third quarter of 2022, Indonesia’s GDP rose by 5.72 percent year-on-year (yoy), accelerating from growth of 5.44 percent logged in the second quarter, while the inflation rate dropped to 5.71 percent in October from 5.95 percent in the preceding month.
Indonesia’s trade balance, meanwhile, has been in surplus for 29 consecutive months, rising by 58.83 percent yoy to US$39.87 billion in the first 10 months of this year.
“The international community trusts us because we can deliver robust economic numbers. Among the Group of 20 members, we are among the best,” President Jokowi added.
Speaking at a forum that was attended by what he believed to be several candidates for the 2024 general election, President Jokowi called on political factions to cool any tension.
“We should all keep the political situation cool; well, if that is not possible, then at least warm. But not hot,” Jokowi continued.
He said 14 countries were currently undergoing “treatment” by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whereas during the Asian Financial Crisis, it had been only five.
Another 28 were “waiting on the doorstep”, he said, adding that he believed that number would increase a lot but not all would get help.