Indonesia no longer needs loans from West, president says

Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia no longer needs help from its main group of Western donors and will rely more on its own funding for development plans, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Wednesday.

The Consultative Group on Indonesia, a World Bank-chaired group of the country's main Western donors, last year pledged 5.4 billion dollars in fresh loans and grants for Southeast Asia's largest economy.

"Indonesia no longer needs the CGI," Yudhoyono told journalists at the palace after receiving visiting International Monetary Fund managing director Rodrigo Rato.

"I deem it necessary to end the format which we know as the CGI forum... in this year of 2007, I declare that there is no longer a need for the existence of the CGI forum as before," he added.

The CGI comprises 21 donor countries and 11 multilateral donors. The major donors are the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Japan.

Yudhoyono's announcement came after Indonesia last year cleared its debt with the IMF.

"We can now already overcome all this and there should no longer be an involvement of assistance from the CGI," he was quoted by AFP as saying.

"We are not thinking and not planning to seek new loans, loans from the IMF or other institutions, which we deem should already be reduced," he said.

Yudhoyono said the decision made it the responsibility of the Indonesian people to determine the targets of development and their funding. (*)
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