Pandemic is a chance for economic transformation: President Jokowi

The COVID-19 pandemic must be used as an opportunity to fundamentally transform the economy to create resilience, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said.
Pandemic on Indonesia economic
President Jokowidodo

The COVID-19 pandemic must be used as an opportunity to fundamentally transform the economy to create resilience, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said.

"Everyone must have that desire so that our economic resilience exists because this pandemic also gives us an opportunity to (rise)," he remarked in Denpasar, Bali, on Friday.

He further said that he understood the decline in Bali's economic sector was caused by pandemic disruptions. Therefore, he urged his staff to introspect as well as find ways to transform the economy fundamentally, President Jokowi said.

"Bali's economy experienced the (biggest) contraction compared to other provinces because indeed the tourism sector that Bali relies on is the sector that was the first to be affected and the sector that was the last to recover," he noted.

Read more : Jokowi Says COVID Shouldn’t Hinder Indonesia Structural Reforms

There are three things that need attention in terms of economic transformation, he said. First, it is necessary to increase the diversification of the economy so that it does not depend on only one sector, he underlined.

"In the contrast with the tourism sector, which suffered a very big blow, the agricultural sector was actually able to survive. It even grew positively compared to other sectors. Details such as these must be known by everyone, and all of us must understand what we have to do," Jokowi said.

Second, the tourism paradigm and governance must prioritize health and safety. The President revealed that tourism will change completely amid the pandemic because people will prioritize those two things.

"Tourists will definitely avoid crowds and frequent close contact because, after all, tourists must be assured that their pleasure in traveling is guaranteed, their health is guaranteed, and they are not infected with the virus," he elaborated.

Third, tourism in Bali must transform from mass tourism to green tourism that is social, cultural, and environmental-based and follows the values and philosophy of Balinese local wisdom that can build harmony and glorify nature, President Jokowi said.

"We must continue the spirit to glorify nature, humans, and culture to welcome the future and we have a strong commitment to implementing a green economy," he added.

He was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, State Secretary Minister Pratikno, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa, Communication and Information Technology Minister Johnny G. Plate, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia, Danish Ambassador to Indonesia, Lars Bo Larsen, and Bali Governor Wayan Koster during the visit.

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