All-out efforts to lift economy, says Indonesian President

JAKARTA • Indonesian President Joko Widodo has pledged to slim down the government during his second term and cut red tape hampering investment in order to achieve an ambitious growth target in South-east Asia's biggest economy by 2045.

"The slimmer our organisation, the faster we can run, the more flexibly we can decide on policies," Mr Joko said yesterday, vowing to axe government agencies that do not contribute to growth.

He was speaking to regional leaders at the launch of "Vision Indonesia 2045", a road map for the country to become the world's fifth-biggest economy, with gross domestic product of US$7.3 trillion (S$10 trillion), by the 100th anniversary of independence.

Mr Joko said he would also focus on adding infrastructure and improving human resources, in a speech that voiced frustration at Indonesia's tortuous bureaucracy.

Despite his efforts since coming to power in 2014 to ease the path to starting a business, investors still found it difficult to enter some sectors, he added.

Aides have said Mr Joko will pursue bolder economic reforms in his second term, which runs until 2024, making significant improvements in the investment climate.

However, some analysts question whether he will be prepared to take on powerful vested interests and shake up a huge bureaucracy that often manages to blunt reform efforts.

LEAN AND NIMBLE

The slimmer our organisation, the faster we can run, the more flexibly we can decide on policies.

INDONESIAN PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO, on his vow to axe government agencies that do not contribute to growth.

"In the next five years, I do not have any burden," Mr Joko said. "I cannot run (for president) again. So anything that is the best for this country, I would do."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2019, with the headline 'All-out efforts to lift economy, says Indonesian President'. Print Edition | Subscribe