The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has established a new government body, called the National Economic and Industry Committee (KEIN), whose role will be to support the President's plan to boost domestic manufacturing of natural resources.
The body, chaired by businessman and National Mandate Party (PAN) advisory council chairman Soetrisno Bachir, is made up of 20 businesspeople and economists who are tasked with providing feedback on industry and the economy to the President.
Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani, businessman Sudhamek AWS, economist Hendri Saparini and Arif Budimanta, a former member of Jokowi's economic advisor team during his presidential campaign, were among the 20 members of KEIN ' which replaces the National Economic Committee (KEN).
Jokowi believes that input from such entrepreneurs and experts as make up the body is essential for the development of effective economic policy.
'Such a combination will provide [us with] better planning, whether for the short term, mid term or long term,' Jokowi said after the swearing-in ceremony at the State Palace on Wednesday.
Jokowi said the new body was indeed different to KEN ' which was formed by his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ' since KEIN would focus more on industry and measures to develop the manufacturing of natural resources.
'Industrialization can provide added value. We will no longer export raw materials.'
Article 5 of the 2010 Presidential Regulation No. 31 on KEN ' which was promoted by tycoon Chairul Tanjung ' stipulates that the committee's tenure would expire after the completion of Yudhoyono's administration.
'Industrialization can provide added value. We will no longer export raw materials,' Jokowi added.
Sutrisno said his team was seeking to draft a kind of economic industry roadmap soon, in order to provide them with better guidelines for assisting the President amid the global economic downturn.
'We are certain that now we have momentum for Indonesia to start industrializing [more quickly]. So that we are no longer a country that exports raw materials, but a country [that benefits from exporting],' Sutrisno added.
Sutrisno asserted that the new body did not have an overlapping role with other existing bodies, such as the presidential advisory board (Wantimpres), arguing that the committee's membership of entrepreneurs would give the President expert opinions on industry and the economy.
Shortly after the inauguration ceremony, Sutrisno, along with other KEIN members, held a meeting with Jokowi at State Palace, in which the President told them to only provide him with 'concrete recommendations', said presidential spokesman Johan Budi.
The plan to replace KEN with KEIN was mulled by Jokowi in September last year after he invited Sutrisno to a closed-door meeting at the Palace, in which Sutrisno proposed to Jokowi several names to sit on the committee.
Sutrisno's appointment was made amid speculation that PAN would be given positions in the Cabinet as a reward for its recent move to partner with the government's coalition.
Yet, Sutrisno insisted that his appointment had no connection with PAN, adding that he would immediately step down from his post in the party.
'I am here not as a representative of PAN, but as a professional entrepreneur,' he said.
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