Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening of the 8th National Conference of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) 30 June 2021, Kendari City, Southeast Sulawesi
May peace and prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Honorable Leadership of State Institutions,
Honorable Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet present with me: Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State Secretary, Minister of Trade, and Minister of Investment;
Honorable Governor of Southeast Sulawesi and Deputy Mayor of Kendari,
Honorable Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and Forkopimda members (Regional Leadership Communication Forum),
Honorable General Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), all ranks of Central Kadin, all Kadin Chairs from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Rote island, and participants of the Kadin National Conference VIII in Kendari City, Southeast Sulawesi; and
These are very difficult times for the business world, for our economy, and for the global economy. It is remarkably hard and not easy to solve the problem because it is not only an economic issue, but also a health issue.
Moreover, in recent weeks there has been a spike (of cases) due to the spread of COVID-19 in our country Indonesia.
We are aware that India experienced an exponential spike (of cases) a few months ago. The number of active cases per day in India in 2020 was 50,000. Then it fell to 9,000 cases per day and in late January, early February, it rose exponentially from 9,000 to 370,000 per day, a very exponential spike.
And now, India has decreased thenumber. It is down to 50,000 cases per day.
We learned from the case. You can ask Minister of Health. In January, I called Minister of Health of India. I also called Prime Minister Narendra Modi. How could something like this happen?
In the past two or three days this week, the same thing has happened. Other countries are also experiencing exponential jumps. It is happening in the UK. In Israel, the cases have actually gone down before they started to jump again. In Israel, in which the cases have decreased and its vaccination rate is more than 70 percent, the cases are increasing again. In Australia, specifically in Sydney, in the recent two or three days, it has started a lockdown due to the spike of cases.
Therefore, I urge all of us to be careful. Do not be careless. Everyone must be vigilant. Do not just talk about the economy again and again but we are careless about health. However, do not just look at the health constantly but we are ignorant about the economy. These two must go hand in hand.
Let us look at the development of active cases in Indonesia. When we called India in January, we learned from there. By then in early February or late January, our cases also rose to 176,000 cases. It went down in mid-May, 18 May, I remember. It dropped to 87,000 cases. It slowly dropped in four months to 87,000. But due to a holiday, the last Eid’s holiday, plus a new variant, today, the number has jumped more than double to 228,000.
This is what I am saying. We must be careful. We must remain vigilant. We must not be careless. We shall continue to study this daily because we can not just work on the macro, but we have to know the micro details. We have to monitor the numbers, their positions, and the movements.
On the development of national bed occupancy rate (BOR), in mid-January, it was at 66 percent, which was quite high at the time. Then, in mid-May, it fell to 28 percent. From 66 percent, it was down to 28 percent. The occupancy rate of the hospital beds is very small. But, in less than a month, today, it has jumped to 72 percent nationwide. Be careful about this.
I usually use Wisma Atlet COVID-19 Emergency Hospital as the benchmark. Every ten o’clock, twelve o’clock at night, I try to get information there. I always call the doctor on duty or Colonel Arifin about the occupancy of beds at Wisma Atlet.
Once in September, it was 92 percent, I was really shaking and nervous, 92 percent. But it slowly went down, even in mid-May, 18 May, it reached 15 percent. From 92 [percent], it dropped to 15 percent. We were so happy at that time. But as soon as there is a holiday, today, I have to say it as it is, 90 percent. This is the number; I have to say as it is.
However, as previously stated by Mr. Rosan, Kadin Chairperson, we will continue to carry out vaccination. To date, 42 million doses have been injected. And the daily target for July is one million [doses] per day. It is a must. Because yesterday we were still at 200,000-300,000 per day. Now, there is no haggling. I’ve said it, a million [doses per day in July] is a must! In August, two million [doses per day] is a must! Because the key to economic recovery is to solve this COVID-19 problem
And, in the world, there are more than 215 countries affected by COVID-19. In terms of vaccination, Indonesia ranks 11th. It is pretty good. And, I am sure it will increase in July-August. I do not know what rank it will rise to, but it will definitely increase because of the one million target and the two million target that I have stated many times.
I would also thank Kadin that has also participated in this vaccination program, within the framework of the Gotong Royong (mutual cooperation) scheme.
The target is 22 million [doses] but because the vaccine has not arrived yet, this is what we will pursue later with the new chairperson and board of directors of Kadin so that the target of 22 million vaccine doses for Gotong Royong Vaccination can be fulfilled in July to August, as well as in the following months.
These are the targets that have been set. How many is the target in each month. In July, it is approximately 34 million. In August, it is 43.7 million. Then, in September, it is 53 million. In October, it is 84 million. In November, it is 80.9 million.
And in December, it is 71.7 million. Indeed, this is not a small target, but yesterday after we tried it for a day, we can achieve 1.3 million [per day], I believe, increasing it to 2.5 million is not a difficult task as long as the vaccines are available. We used to think that at 300,000, it was already difficult to raise, but apparently last Saturday, we could do 1.3 million.
These are the efforts that we continue to make. And today there is a finalization of the study for us to see because the spike is very high and we hope it will be completed because it is chaired by Mr. Airlangga, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, to decide the implementation of emergency PPKM (public activity restriction).
I do not know if the decision will state for a week or two because we already know the whole map. Especially on the islands of Java and Bali, because here there are 44 regencies and cities as well as six provinces whose assessment scores are four. We will conduct a detailed assessment that requires special treatment according to the WHO transmission rate indicator.
We must convey these conditions as they are. For example, in a map of West Jakarta, you can see the neighborhood units/hamlets and sub-districts affected by COVID-19. This is the condition. It is already prevalent. So, there must be a firm decision to solve this problem.
So, after we look at it in detail, the increase in COVID-19 cases always affects the consumer confidence index (IKK). Always. As soon as strict restrictions are put in place, mobility goes down, the case goes down, the consumer confidence index will definitely go up. But once the case goes up, the consumer confidence index always goes down. This is how it works.
The increase in cases also affects the retail sales index. This is the case in Indonesia and other countries. For example, in Indonesia and Thailand, here, once there is additional daily cases, the retail sales index will also decrease.
In Thailand, the same thing happened, if there is an increase in daily cases, sales index will go down. So, the key to our current economic problems is to reduce COVID-19, to suppress it, so that it disappears from this earth.
If we look at the numbers, for example the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing. Compared to the pre-pandemic period, it is now at a very high position. Before the pandemic it was at 51 while last May, it is at 55.3. It’s very high. This means that we have optimism there.
The supply side is also the same. Production is starting to thrive. Exports grew by 58 percent. Imports of raw materials grew by 79 percent; it is very high. Imports of capital goods grew by 35 percent. I look at these numbers every morning. I have never had breakfast but these numbers.
Electricity consumption for industry also grew by 28 percent. This is optimism, but the problem lies in COVID-19 which we cannot yet suppress, reduce, and solve.
The demand side is also the same. Consumption continues to strengthen, the consumer confidence index, which was previously at 85 in February, is now at 104.4. The mobility index is also the same. It used to be -2 in February, now it is at 5.2. The optimism exists.
Therefore, we must implement the emergency PPKM policy, like it or not, because of the conditions I mentioned earlier.
The retail sales index also grew by 12.9 percent. Cement consumption also grew by 19.2 percent. Sales of commercial vehicles grew by 783 percent. These are numbers that I think are fantastic in increase.
Therefore, once again, as previously stated by Kadin Chairperson, we are all still optimistic that in the second quarter, from the previous quarter of -0.74 [percent], in the second quarter we are still optimistic that it will grow by about 7 percent, God willing.
This concludes my statement on this auspicious opportunity.
By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare the Kadin National Conference VIII this afternoon open.
Happy National Conference.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahiwabarakatuh. (FI/EP)