World economic slowdown to have minimum impact on Indonesia

Jakarta (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the expected slowdown in the world economy`s growth in 2008 would have a minimum impact on Indonesia as its national economy was running on the right track with stronger fundamentals and the country was experienced in surviving global economic fluctuations.

"Reports on our stock exchange`s performance indicate many things. It is clear that our post-crisis economic development is already on the right track. Our economic fundamentals are getting better as they cushion external fluctuations such as the subprime mortgage crisis and the world oil price hikes. We have better economic endurance to face world economic fluctuations," the President said after opening the first day of trading in 2008 at the Indonesian Stock Exchange (BEI) here Wednesday.

With such capabilities, the President said, the expected sluggishness in world economic growth would not have a significant impact on Indonesia`s economy.

"The expected world economic slowdown must be anticipated but don`t be too worried about it. Because the prospects of the Indonesian economy in 2008 remain positive. The impact of the subprime mortgage crisis was nearly zero. As for the world oil price hikes, don`t forget that Indonesia is also an oil producer so that the price hikes have both a negative and positive impact on us," he added.

On the impact of the world economic slowdown on the country`s exports, the President said there was nothing to worry about because Indonesian agriculture and mining products had a relatively high competitiveness.

The same could be said about Indonesia`s foreign investment sector.

The President said, as world economic growth was expected to decline from 5.2 percent in 2007 to 4.8 percent in 2008, the government should identify factors that could affect the national economy and find solutions to those problems.

It could use three opportunities to anticipate the slowdown namely, to maintain the current positive economic growth, enhance infrastructure development that could move other economic sectors, and to maintain macro economic stability.

Yudhoyono said, some of the challenges faced by the nation in 2008 were how to keep its current growth from being affected by inflation from food products and energy, how to continue reform, how to increase exports and industrial production, maintain budget accuracy, and anticipate natural disasters.(*)
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