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Jakarta Post

Jokowi wants Trump-style deregulation in Indonesia

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 11, 2019   /   02:57 pm
Jokowi wants Trump-style deregulation in Indonesia President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed his ministers to slash regulations for every new rule issuance, inspired by a story shared with him by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross about President Donald Trump’s deregulation agenda.

Jokowi, who spoke in a Cabinet meeting on Monday on job creation, told his Indonesia Onward ministers to slash regulations deemed to be slowing down investment that could open up more jobs in the country.

“Recently, Secretary Ross told me that there, if any minister wanted to issue a regulation, he/she needed to revoke two regulations,” said Jokowi at the Presidential Office on Monday.

“We should be able to do that as well. For every regulation issued by a minister, they need to annul 40 ministerial regulations because we have too many ministerial regulations.”

Under an executive order signed by Trump on Jan. 30, 2017, government agencies were directed to revoke two regulations for every new regulation issued without incurring more costs of compliance to the new regulation.

Courting foreign investors to create more jobs in the country is one of Jokowi’s priority agendas, according to his victory speech after the election, in which he said “no one should be allergic to investment”, particularly those that create jobs in the country.

The open unemployment ratio stood at 5.28 percent as of August this year, slightly lower than the 5.34 percent recorded over the same period last year, according to the latest available data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).

In absolute terms, however, the number of  unemployed people increased by 50,000 between August 2018 and August this year, while 2.5 million people gained employment over the same period.

Parallel to the deregulation efforts, Jokowi went on to emphasize the need for bureaucratic reform, particularly to change the mindsets of civil servants from “procedure-oriented” to “result-oriented”.

Investment, which accounts for around a third of GDP, only grew 4.21 percent in the third quarter, BPS data showed, dropping from growth of 6.96 percent recorded over the same period last year.