Indonesian president, citing trade war concerns, says country needs 'dollars now'

Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged his ministers to make "serious" efforts as Indonesia’s rupiah lost around 6 per cent this year amidst a global trade war.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged his ministers to make "serious" efforts as Indonesia’s rupiah lost around 6 per cent this year amidst a global trade war. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asked his ministers to make "serious" efforts to strengthen the country's foreign exchange reserves amid pressures caused by a global trade war.

"The country needs dollars now," Mr Joko said in a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (July 31). "I don't want to keep doing meetings without good implementations."

Indonesia requires foreign inflow to finance its current account deficit and the central bank has spent around US$12 billion (S$16.33 billion) of its forex reserves in recent months to defend the rupiah, which has lost around 6 per cent this year.