The Jakarta Post
Officials from Bank Indonesia and the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister have invited representatives of local governments to encourage the regions to produce export-oriented products.
The 15th central-regional coordination meeting is held in Batam, Riau Islands, from Thursday to Friday. “During the meeting, we offer solutions,” Dody Budi Waluyo, BI’s executive director for monetary and economic policies, said in Batam on Thursday.
The participants are invited to discuss ways for Indonesia to avoid the so-called middle-income trap, where the economic development of a country is too slow to allow for rising per-capita income while still maintaining a competitive edge in international trade.
“We want to move forward to [average per-capita income] between US$4,000 and $12,000. Many countries fail to do so,” said Dody, who had been approved by the House of Representatives to become BI deputy governor, adding that higher income could be achieved if Indonesia could improve its trade balance.
“The objective of the meeting is to find ways to access export markets through the development of industrial estates,” he added.
Dody said Batam had been chosen to host the meeting because the city currently contributed 17 percent to the country’s total export value. “Batam can be categorized as a region that has applied high technology,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister’s undersecretary for macroeconomy and finance, Iskandar Simorangkir, said the government had decided to develop 12 special economic zones (KEK) – eight industrial estates and four tourist destinations – to boost exports.
“Indonesian products manufactured in KEKs will be more competitive in the global market,” Iskandar added. (bbn)