Economists appreciate President Jokowi’s commitment
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — INDEF economist Dradjad Wibowo appreciates the efforts downstream mine minerals, led by President Joko Widodo. The downstream process will face enormous challenges.
Confirmed to attend the rally with Jokowi, the Chairman of the PAN Expert Council has confirmed his attendance. “Yes, it’s true that I was present at the meeting of the president Jokowi with economists last Wednesday, August 3 at the Palace,” Drajad told Republika.co.idThursday (4/8/2022).
He explained that the event began with a lunch, followed by an explanation by the President and a discussion led by Minister Secretary of State Pramono Anung. “There were also informal ‘chats’ and jokes, like when Mas Pram and I discussed politics, made the president burst out laughing,” Drajad explained.
During the friendship, Drajad said, President Jokowi conducted many economic policies. One of the things Drajad pointed out was the issue of highlighting downstream mining. Objectively, Drajad said he must appreciate what President Jokowi and his team have accomplished.
“Maybe I will be vilified, I say this because the Ketum PAN is the Minister of Commerce. Maybe those who criticize do not understand how long and difficult the fight for endorsement in Indonesia is,” said Drajad.
Since the 2000s, Drajad admits he has been yelling at the downstream industry. In the 2004-2009 DPR, even though he did not participate in the special commission, Drajad admitted to having been involved in inciting the approval of the Minerba bill. “Mas Pram was one of the key figures in the PDIP faction’s downline at that time. We just talked and debated. That’s it, the pressure was already super high,” the member said. of the DPR of the PAN era.
According to Drajad, what President Jokowi is doing is making it happen. He said Jokowi deals directly with major countries and disadvantaged global mining players. “Obviously the pressure is much greater,” he said.
A concrete example is the nickel downstream and its relation to iron/steel exports. In 2012-2014, Indonesia’s iron/steel exports were only around USD 1.6-2.1 billion. In 2019, exports amounted to USD 7.9 billion. After the downstream in 2020, iron/steel exports increased to USD 11.3 billion (2020), and even jumped almost 2 times to reach USD 21.4 billion in 2021.
According to Drajad, this will not be achieved if nickel endorsement is not achieved. The opponents they face are not playing games. The European Union is angry that Indonesia has banned/limited nickel ore exports in 2020. The reason is that the steel industry there is threatened with shortage of nickel, while Indonesia is the second largest exporter of nickel. nickel to the European Union.
In yesterday’s friendship, Drajad saw that the President had political will which is very strong for downstream. Without it, according to him, Indonesia does not necessarily succeed in coping with the pressures of the European Union. Moreover, President Jokowi does not stop at nickel. Bauxite, copper and other minerals must also be downstream.
The benefits of endorsement, Drajad said, are very clear. Added value increased significantly, driving growth. The balance of trade and payments benefits. This strengthens macro stability, including the rupee exchange rate.
“The criticisms and suggestions are definitely there. First, we need to improve the business ecosystem, so that the distribution side of the downstream can be maximized,” he explained. an added value of the downstream must be increased.
Second, downstream agribusiness must also be stimulated, as in the mining sector. Palm oil, for example, is widely exploited in North America and the European Union. So it must be downstream.
Third, the oil and gas downstream needs more attention. For decades, Indonesia has depended on Singapore, which has no oil, as Indonesia’s downstream oil and gas sector lags behind.
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