Introductory Remarks of President of Republic of Indonesia at the Plenary Cabinet Meeting Monday, 2 November 2020 at the State Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Vice President, Coordinating Ministers, Ministers, and Heads of Institutions.
In this Cabinet Plenary Meeting, I would like to address several points to be our concerns.
First, We must remain focused on managing and maintaining the balance between handling public health and economic recovery. I have delivered it several times but I need to highlight this once again.
Alhamdulillah, based on the report I received, the average of COVID-19 active cases in the country reached 13.78 percent as of 1 November 2020, lower than that of the global average at 25.22 percent. We must continue to suppress the figure so it can decrease.
The country’s recovery rate is also improving. We have 82.84 percent of recovery rate, while the global percentage stands at 72 percent on average. This figure needs to be improved.
The country’s death rate due to COVID-19 is still higher than that of the global average. The figure is still at 3.38 percent, while the global average at 2.5 percent. This deserves our attention.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, please be alert. There has been a second wave of COVID-19 in Europe where the number of active cases increased drastically. Do not be careless. We should be alert so that the incident will not occur in our country. We can see the number of active cases in several administrative regions in France that increased, active cases in Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain have increased drastically. We should pay much attention to this and stay alert.
Second, I want to highlight other things related to the fourth quarter, which is the last quarter. I expect the realization of our spending must be at its maximum so the growth will be positive. We know that in the second quarter, our economic growth was recorded at minus 5.32. In the third quarter, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) will make announcement regarding this in the next few days that our economic growth is also in minus figure. We estimate that the country’s economic growth was recorded at the range of minus 3. The country’s economic growth rate is also better compared to other countries, but we should focus on the fourth quarter. Thus, the third quarter might be recorded at minus 3, but the trend is improving. We must focus on this. The BPS will announce that the trend is positive from minus 5.32 to minus 3. Therefore, I would like to emphasize that the economic growth improvement in the fourth quarter is essential so that we can improve it. We will be grateful if we can enter a positive growth in the fourth quarter. We must maintain the spending.
I noticed that household consumption expenditure figures in the third quarter were still in minus 4. Hence, it is our obligation to strengthen the demand so the consumption will be improved. If the fourth quarter has been completed, spend the budget maximally, and be careful. Do instruct all General Directors and Directors at all levels that you lead to maximize the fourth quarter. However, be alert. Do maintain spending realization in the first quarter of 2021 start from now. Once you receive the Budget Implementation List (DIPA), it means you can conduct an auction. We expect the implementation will not get stuck in January, February, March, and it should not be dropped after the fourth quarter. We hope that in the first quarter our economic growth can be leveraged to increase. In addition, I need to remind you of other things regarding investment.
Once again, we must design the first quarter of 2021 from now on so that the activity can be carried out in January, especially social assistance. The realization of social assistance must be prepared to be carried out in January. The realization of capital expenditures, especially infrastructure, both at Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, Ministry of Transportation, and other ministries can be carried out immediately.
Regarding the investment, our investment in the third quarter is still above minus 5, but we will wait for calculations from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), it is probably still at the range of minus 6. I have actually warned the Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment to maintain investment growth below minus five percent in the third quarter, but this has not yet been realized. Therefore, I order them to pursue the growth target in the fourth quarter this year and in the first quarter (January, February, and March) next year.
I also urge to seize the opportunity to restore investment conditions since the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility to enter the United States market has been extended, so this is an opportunity because we are the only country in Asia that gets this facility. We expect the GSP facility will be able to boost the country’s exports. Hopefully, the GSP facility can also be used to attract investment to the country. Investors who want to establish industries, factories, or companies in Indonesia will be more interested in investing in our country as we offer them the GSP facility to enter the US market.
That’s all for my introduction.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Translated by Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by Lulu Wuliarti