Government calls on export heavyweights to help bolster rupiah
The Jakarta Post
The government has asked major exporters to park their export revenue in Indonesia and convert it into rupiah to help bolster the currency's exchange rate.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made the call during his meeting with 40 top Indonesian exporters on Thursday at Bogor Palace in West Java. Also present at the meeting were Indonesia's richest man, Robert Budi Hartono, Adaro Energy president director Garibaldi "Boy" Thohir and GarudaFood Group chairman Sudhamek Agoeng Waspodo Soenjoto.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the meeting was held to gather input from the businessmen on managing the prolonged global uncertainty. The government also asked how to channel export revenue to Indonesia.
"We conveyed to them what we, the government, could do to [persuade] the businessmen to bring their export revenue [back] to Indonesia," she said after the meeting.
Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani said only 85 percent of export revenue returned to Indonesia, while the remaining 15 percent was parked overseas.
Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairman Rosan Perkasa Roeslani told The Jakarta Post that some of the revenue had to be parked abroad in order to buy raw materials and pay foreign debts. In addition, some foreign banks required companies to deposit money in their branches abroad in order to obtain loans.
"Several businesspeople have offered solutions, such as using loans from foreign banks that have Indonesian branches. However, it is not final yet. We plan to have more intensive talks with the Finance Ministry and the Investment Coordinating Board [BKPM] soon," said Rosan. (dmr)
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