Indonesia Latest: Jokowi Seeks Policy Continuity Ahead of Vote

Indonesia is entering a political season and tension is heating up ahead of the February 2024 election, President Joko Widodo said in his annual state of the nation address.

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia is entering a political season and tension is heating up ahead of the February 2024 election, President Joko Widodo said in his annual state of the nation address.

Jokowi, as the president is known, is expected to announce in a separate budget speech Wednesday that Southeast Asia’s largest economy will keep the fiscal deficit below 3% of gross domestic product and maintain a GDP growth close to 5% as his second, five-year term draws to a close in about a year.

The leader seeks to cement his legacy with the creation of a $34 billion new capital city and the push to become a manufacturing powerhouse that will help lift resource-rich Indonesia into the ranks of high-income nations by 2045. The country will hold a general election on Feb. 14.

He made a pitch to sustain and even expand the policy of processing natural resources and creating higher-value products that he calls “downstreaming.” Jokowi didn’t address the $20 billion plan to transition into cleaner energy sources in his morning speech amid expectations that Indonesia will unveil an investment program this week.


Jokowi will take the podium again at about 2 p.m. for his fiscal report. The rupiah has held on to its gains after Jokowi’s speech, up 0.14% to 15,318 against the US dollar. The benchmark stock index is down about 0.5%.

Next Leader Must Be Competent to Achieve 2045 Vision (11:03 a.m.)

The country needs a capable leader who can ensure the continuity of existing policies so that Indonesia can be an economic powerhouse, Jokowi said. The question is not about who is the next president but whether the individual is capable, he said.

Indonesia needs to run a marathon, not be caught up in sprints to reach its 2045 economic vision. “Policy choices will be increasingly difficult, so courage is needed, trust is needed,” he said.

“To take difficult decisions and unpopular decisions. Therefore, in my opinion, the leader must have public trust because trust is one of the determining factors.”

Downstreaming Could Double Per Capita GDP (10:57 a.m.)

The country’s GDP per capita to reach $10,900 in a decade’s time should it continue with its downstreaming policy, and reach $25,000 by 2045, Jokowi said. 

Indonesia should expand its downstreaming policy to include non-mineral commodities such as palm oil, coconut and seaweed to benefit the regions, Jokowi said. 

“Indonesia must become a country that is also able to process its resources, be able to provide added value and bring prosperity to its people,” he said.

‘Demographic Bonus’ to Hit Peak in 2030 (10:50 a.m.)

The country’s “demographic bonus” will reach its peak in 2030, which the country can leverage to achieve its ambition of becoming a high-income country by 2045, the president said.

Some 68% of the population are at a productive stage. The country has a strategy to reach its goals, he said. “It’s just a matter of whether we want to focus our energy on moving forward or waste our energy on things that are unproductive and divisive,” Jokowi said.

Jokowi Says He Isn’t Involved In Deciding Election (10:45 a.m.)

Jokowi said he doesn’t have the power to decide the outcome of the polls, especially the presidential election given that it’s up for political parties to determine who becomes the candidates. 

“I’m a president. That’s not my authority,” he said in his annual speech. His comments come after speculation that the outgoing leader is trying to influence the outcome of the election to ensure that his successor continues his vision and to safeguard his political dynasty.

Lawmaker Calls for Unity Ahead of Polls (9:44 a.m.)

Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly Bambang Soesatyo kicked off Wednesday’s series of speeches with a call for unity in the government’s vision ahead of the 2024 election, even as coalitions are starting to take form.

Election fever is heating up in the world’s third-largest democracy, with some 205 million people set to cast their votes for presidential, legislative, and gubernatorial candidates on Valentine’s Day next year.

–With assistance from Norman Harsono, Claire Jiao, Eko Listiyorini, Soraya Permatasari, Yudith Ho, Clarissa Batino and Cecilia Yap.

(Updates with Jokowi’s comment on election)

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