Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Meeting with Leaders of Coalition Parties, 25 August 2021, at the State Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
May peace be upon us all.
This afternoon, I would like to deliver several points of note; COVID-19, is the first point, and it will be continued with point regarding the economy though we are still in uncertain circumstances.
The first one is regarding COVID-19. Development of confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 is unpredictable. However, alhamdulillah, thank God, as of 24 August, the number of (COVID-19 daily cases) has declined to 19,000 cases from the previous 56,000 (at its peak). We are still striving to handle this. I had called a number of world leaders who have successfully flatten the curve and we’re trying to modify measures taken in these countries and apply it to handle the pandemic in our country, Indonesia.
Regarding Bed Occupancy Rate (BOR) at hospitals, that dropped to 29 percent in May (2021), in mid-May, but jumped to 80 percent in July (2021), has shown a gradual decline to 30 percent today, alhamdulillah. We must be grateful for that. All sides including the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), the Indonesian National Police (Polri), Ministries, the State-owned Enterprises, Central Government, regional governments, and the public have cooperated. Recovery rate which is at 89.97 percent also has successfully surpassed the global average recovery rate of 89.5 percent.
We still have one more thing to be solved, the one that I always remind the Minister of Health and the regional governments, namely to continuously lower mortality rate.
Regarding vaccination rate, Indonesia’s ranking out of 200, 220 countries, is not bad at all. Based on the number of people receiving the vaccines, Indonesia ranked 4th. India ranked 1st, followed by the United States at the second place, Brazil at the third place, and Indonesia at the fourth place. Meanwhile, based on the number of vaccine doses administered to the people, Indonesia ranked 7th globally. So far, the country has administered 91.9 million doses of vaccines. We are placed behind Germany, Japan, Brazil, the United States, India, and China.
Regarding the economic sector, we must balance the gas and brakes. If the case declines, the economy will rebound and when the case increases, the economy will flag. That is the formula. We have to find the equilibrium, the balance and it is the most difficult thing to do considering Indonesia is an archipelagic country so it takes a quite long time to distribute vaccines and medicines throughout the country.
Thank God, from negative 0.7 in the first quarter of 2021, we could jump to 7.07… 7.1 percent in the second quarter. In addition, the inflation rate is relatively under control. Comparing to other countries, Indonesia’s inflation rate is relatively under control at 1.5 [percent]. Based on another economic indicator, our export grew by 31.8 percent in the second quarter, Indonesia’s export. It consisted of export in agricultural sector, that has seen a fairly significant increase, and also export in other sectors. I suppose it makes us optimistic.
Public consumption in the second quarter was at 5.9 percent, whereas investment grew to 7.5 percent. And, the last indicator is trust in Government index which last week rose from 97.6 to 115.6. Also, consumers’ trust, public trust, the people’s trust is visible from such indexes. We will get the results if the surveys are completed. It indicates optimism, towards positive trend. However, we must also remain careful, remain vigilant because once again, it is indeed hard to calculate.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Third, I will explain Indonesia’s national economic strategies. Since the very beginning, we wanted to transform our economic growth that has been dependent on consumption sector, particularly people’s consumption, to production sector. It is not consumption that will drive us but the production sector.
Therefore, all the commodities we have now will be encouraged for downstreaming, for industrialization. One of them is nickel. I think, within three or a maximum of four years it will be produced into finished goods such as lithium batteries, electric batteries, and electric car batteries. This will bring significant added value to the industry. We also develop downstream industry for bauxite since the commodity has been sent for export, the factory has been established and it has been exported.
I think we will also do the same thing to another commodities. Palm oil commodity that has many derivative products is also potential to downstream to bring added value of the commodity to the country. It will also apply to other agricultural product including porang (konjac). Konjac can be processed into a variety of products and is easy to grow. It can grow on any type of soil. It can be processed into rice, jelly, ingredients for cosmetics, noodles, and the like. The most important thing that it is also projected to be future staple food; Japan and Korea have started to develop it. Konjac is low in calories, carbs, gluten-free, and sugar-free. This is the future food.
The fourth point is regarding our governance. If we slowly respond to urgent matters, we will face difficulties when carrying out our tasks on the ground. How do we respond to the speed of disruption? It would be very hard for us.
Thus, speed is the key in this age of disruption, there is no other solution than that. Any countries, regardless their size and wealth, will be lose to countries that are quick, particularly in decision making.
That concludes my remarks on the auspicious occasion. Once again, thank you for your attendance at this event. If you want to say something, the floor is yours.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh. (RAS/MMB)