Indonesia Ready to Explore Economic Cooperation with Latin America-Caribbean

Photo: Kemlu RI

Jakarta, MINA – Indonesia is ready to explore the potential for cooperation with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (INA-LAC), especially in the post-pandemic economy.

“Indonesia is ready to explore cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries,” said Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita in his remarks at the INA-LAC 2021 Business Forum virtually, Thursday night, as quoted from Antara News.

The statement follows that Indonesia’s total trade to global trade is only about two percent, while Latin American and Caribbean countries also only account for 0.32 percent of total global trade.

“These figures do not reflect our true potential,” said Agus.

However, he admitted that he was optimistic that the national economy would recover soon next year which was influenced by many factors, including the handling of COVID-19, the level of public consumption, the implementation of structural reforms to the global economic outlook.

In the IMF world economic outlook that has been published this year, the forecast for economic growth in developing countries is in the range of 5.2 percent.

Meanwhile, according to Agus, Indonesia has targeted economic growth of 5.0 to 5.5 percent in 2022.

However, he continued, uncertainty due to the emergence and spread of new variants of COVID-19 is still a barrier factor that must be addressed immediately.

According to Agus, Indonesia’s experience in handling the second wave of COVID-19 by aggressively implementing a vaccination program and implementing strict health protocols was able to boost public confidence to move forward by carrying out various socio-economic activities.

“I am proud that Indonesia has been nominated as one of the best countries in the world in handling the second wave of COVID-19. The recognition from Johns Hopkins University is a reflection of Indonesia’s ability to reduce the number of confirmed cases by 58 percent per week,” he said.

He added that the implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM), especially in Java and Bali, was also able to reduce the number of cases to 94 percent from the peak of infections in July.

Agus assesses that this success has made business and industrial activities restart and the local economy has also grown.

He said the trade balance during August recorded a surplus of US$4.7 billion (Rp68 trillion) or a total of 19.1 billion (Rp267 trillion) from January 2021.

Exports grew 37.7 percent in a year, contributed by coal, palm oil, iron, steel and natural gas.

Meanwhile, imports grew 33 percent in a year, contributed by raw materials and capital goods.

Agus said the global economy also continued to recover along with high optimism due to a rebound in economic growth in the second quarter of 2021.

“We have to recover and grow strong together,” he said. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)