Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the 2021 Autonomy Expo of Indonesian Regency Governments Association (Apkasi), 20 October 2021, from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province
Date 20 Oktober 2021
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue.
Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesian Onward Cabinet, present with us are Minister of Home Affairs and Cabinet Secretary;
Distinguished General Chairperson of the Indonesian Regency Governments Association (Apkasi) Sutan Riska Tuanku Kerajaaan, and all ranks of the Apkasi Board of Directors;
Distinguished Regents from all over Indonesia;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Guests.
First and foremost, I appreciate the initiative by Apkasi to immediately drive the regional economy, including through this Expo. I agree that trade, tourism, and investment must start to be driven. We cannot be late. However, we must note that health remains a top priority.
The economy needs to be reactivated while staying vigilant to health issues. We must remain disciplined in implementing [health] protocols and vaccinations must also progress immediately. Yesterday, I received information, we have administered 171 million doses to our people and our year-end target at the end of December is 270 million doses at a minimum. So, in the remaining two months or so, we still have much homework to do, especially with regards to vaccines. And, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the support from all of you, Regents, in the implementation of vaccination drives in the regions.
However, I need to remind you because almost everything has started to open, schools have resumed in-person learning so field control must continue to be carried out, especially related to the implementation of in-person learning in schools. We have to check carefully the readiness of schools in the implementation of health protocols because taking care of children, especially those in elementary schools, is no an easy task. One or two, some have been exposed again, so all regions have to be aware of this. Because yesterday, [cases in] several countries started to climb due to the opening of schools and we don’t want that to happen in our country. Also, please check the medicine supply, the readiness of the hospital, even though I learn that the BOR (bed occupancy rate) [in each region] is now all low.
Once again, we have to start reactivating our economy and always be prepared to face all the uncertainties. Given today’s global world is really full of doubts, full of uncertainty, full of complex problems which is unprecedented. Recently, there has been an unprecedented energy crisis in several countries, such as countries in Europe and China. However, we benefit from the rising commodity prices. I think regions that produce oil palm and coal are happy with everything, or those that produce nickel or copper. Everyone is happy because the economy in the commodity-producing regions will definitely climb, God willing, it will climb.
To that end, I welcome the organizing of the 2021 Autonomy Expo organized by Apkasi. This serves as an opportunity to get to know each other, to cooperate with each other, to strengthen trade cooperation between regions, and at the same time, to strengthen our exports, including the expansion of new export markets.
Let us not set aside, once again, the huge potential of our domestic market thanks to our population of 270 million and the rapid growth of our middle class. This should become an opportunity to strengthen our domestic industry. Do not let this large market be seized by the products of other countries.
We also need to strengthen inter-regional, inter-regency, inter-provincial, inter-island trades. It is very vital. I think this needs to be continuously echoed in the Apkasi fora. Inter-regional, inter-island trades must continue to be developed and each region should focus on its flagship products. Do not try to do everything, so that in the future we can rely on each other.
We like to act jumpy. When the rubber [market] is strong, everyone will start to plant rubber trees. When the palm oil [market] is strong, everyone will rush to plant the palm oil crop. When the palm oil prices fall down, everyone will too. When the rubber prices stagger, everyone will too. Do not do that. I remind you that every region needs to focus on its flagship products because of the uncertainty. Do not do this, when other regions’ economy is sound due to the rubber market, you ask your people to plant the rubber trees. Yes, it is great while it lasts but when you fall together, it is really dangerous.
Once again, each region must focus on its flagship products so that we can rely on and complement each other in our national value chain. And, we must continue to increase our export volume, facilitate business players to aggressively take advantage of existing export opportunities. We must start to push. Any product is encouraged to enter the competition to take advantage of existing export opportunities, thus making our products known and competitive in the global market.
Yesterday, I received this information, our national export value reached US$142 billion from January to August this year, it grew by 37.7 percent year-on-year (yoy). This means that our exports grew very well, 37.7 percent yoy. If the regions can take advantage of this, almost all countries today need our commodities, so there shouldn’t be any region that hinders, complicates the licensing process, discourages our exports from developing properly.
And, the export market potential is still wide open. Many of our trading partners have also started to recover: China grew by 7.9 percent; America grew by 12.2 percent; Japan grew by 7.6 percent; and India even grew by 20.1 percent. We have to take full advantage of this opportunity, to push our commodities, our products into the countries I mentioned earlier.
Through the Expo, I hope that each region will not only showcase its products and feature tourist attractions, but will also showcase a better investment climate, better legal certainty, and better ease of licensing using online single submission (OSS). This certainty is really needed by the business world.
We also hope that the organizing of this expo can boost investment in the regions and accelerate the creation of new job opportunities for our community and stimulate the regional economy.
That concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion. And, by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare the 2021 Apkasi Autonomy Expo open.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Om Santi Santi Santi Om. (FI/MUR)