The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo asked the National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP) to prioritize locally produced goods over imports so that procurement activities could boost domestic industry.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of LKPP’s annual coordination meeting on Wednesday, Jokowi urged the agency to avoid procuring goods through imports if the items could be produced locally.
“Take hoes, for example. Why are we still importing them?” Jokowi said during his opening speech.
He added that hoes were one of many items that could be produced locally by small and medium enterprises, yet the LKPP still imported hundreds of thousands.
“How convenient is that for the countries that we import from, while we are still burdened by trade balance and current account deficits?” he asked, “Why is it so common to import goods? It’s just too much, especially as it is using the government’s money.”
Jokowi acknowledged that importing goods was cheaper. However, he said it would negatively impact the country’s efforts to create more employment opportunities.
Jokowi asked that the LKPP start noting items that could be procured domestically as well as ones that had to be imported.
“Just strike them [import goods] out with a red highlighter, if they’re not necessary,” Jokowi said. (dpk)