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Jakarta Post

Indonesia needs to boost exports as foreign debt increases: BI

  • Anton Hermansyah
    Anton Hermansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 8, 2018   /   09:57 pm
Indonesia needs to boost exports as foreign debt increases: BI Containers are loaded and unloaded at North Jakarta's Tanjung Priok port in this Nov. 16, 2017 file photograph. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

Bank Indonesia (BI) has said Indonesia needs to boost its exports as the country's foreign debt continues to increase as the government seeks to accelerate its infrastructure projects.

BI senior deputy governor Mirza Adityaswara said in Jakarta on Thursday that while Indonesia's foreign debt was still under control, the country’s deficient export value had caused the current deficit to reach historic proportions.

Indonesia has an external debt to gross domestic products (GDP) ratio of 34.5 percent, similar to Thailand's 33.9 percent, he said, adding, however, that Indonesia's external debt to current account receipt was 169.9 percent while Thailand and Malaysia's were 46.4 and 9.0 percent respectively.

"Thailand's foreign debt situation is similar to ours, however, they generated far greater foreign currency income from their exports to pay their debt," he said in Jakarta.

Therefore, he stressed that the focus of investment in Indonesia should be on export-oriented industries and tourism.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that Indonesia collected US$168.73 billion from exports in 2017, a 16.22 percent increase compared with $144.43 billion in 2016.  

Meanwhile, Thailand's exports totaled $236.69 billion in 2017, while Vietnam’s exports were recorded at $213.77 billion.

BI recorded that as of November, 2017, Indonesia's foreign debt was recorded at $343 billion, a 9.1 percent increase compared with the same period last year. (bbn)