Indonesian President Jokowi urges unity and economic development ahead of the 2024 Presidential Election

President Joko Widodo.

INDONESIA: President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, has emphasized the growing political tension in Indonesia as the 2024 presidential election approaches. He expressed concern over the increasing differences in political preferences among the public.

He described the political climate as heating up, with tensions rising between fellow citizens.

“The situation in this political year has started to heat up gradually, and it’s moving towards getting warmer, slightly heating up but not yet at its peak. The real issue arises when the heat turns toward fellow compatriots,” expressed Jokowi during the opening of the National Coordination Meeting of the Indonesian Christian Youth Movement (GAMKI) in Medan, as quoted from the President’s Secretariat YouTube channel, Saturday (19 Aug).

Jokowi highlighted the need to prevent division, especially given the global geopolitical uncertainty affecting 96 countries, which have become IMF patients due to the ongoing global uncertainties.

He urged the public to maintain a harmonious atmosphere during this political year to prevent further rifts. He emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation among Indonesians to ensure the nation doesn’t become a part of the IMF’s list of affected countries.

“In a global uncertainty situation like the present, we really need to work with focus, work together cohesively, work in solidarity. So that we are aware that currently, 96 countries have become patients of the IMF, 96 countries. It’s dreadful, but that’s the reality,” he expressed.

For this reason, he earnestly requests the community to maintain a conducive atmosphere during the political year to prevent division. By doing so, the people can continue to work together cooperatively and remain united throughout the political year to prevent Indonesia from becoming a victim of the IMF.

‚ÄúTherefore, even though we are competing during this political year, friends remain friends. Like in a race, it’s fine to compete, but no elbowing or kicking. We are all brothers and sisters of the homeland, don’t forget that,” emphasized Jokowi.

President Joko Widodo at the National Coordination Meeting of the Indonesian Christian Youth Movement (GAMKI) in Medan, Saturday (19 Aug). (Presidential Secretariat YouTube channel)

Jokowi urges bold pursuit of resource-based industrialization to propel Indonesia’s economy and global standing

The President stressed the significance of continuing the process of resource-based industrialization (hilirisasi) to boost Indonesia’s economy.

He warned against relying solely on exporting raw materials, asserting that this approach would hinder the nation’s progress. Despite potential pressures from international organizations such as the WTO and IMF, he urged future leaders to boldly pursue resource-based industrialization.

“If we only export raw materials, this country will never become a developed nation, no matter how long. So, we must have the courage, the leaders in the future must have the courage to continue this. Even if the risk involves being challenged in the WTO, pressured by the IMF, perhaps other countries might exert pressure as well, don’t retreat. Don’t then lack the courage to proceed,” he stated.

Jokowi recounted Indonesia’s past failures to extract added value from its commodities, citing the potential in the 1970s for oil. He also mentioned how the country failed to gain value from timber exports during the 1980s. To prevent history from repeating itself, he implored the public to encourage future leaders not to export raw materials.

“Please remind future leaders not to export raw materials. The people must have the courage to remind them about this,” he requested.

Moreover, Jokowi touched upon Indonesia’s prospects for emerging as a developed nation, indicating that the next 13 years hold a critical period for the country. He emphasized the significance of choosing capable leaders during the 2024, 2029, and 2034 elections to propel Indonesia into the top five global economies.

Highlighting the success of resource-based industrialization, Jokowi pointed out that the nickel sector’s revenue significantly increased after its implementation. He provided an example of nickel exports, which saw revenues jump from approximately $2.1 billion (IDR 33 trillion) to $33.8 billion (IDR 510 trillion) after industrialization.

Furthermore, Jokowi emphasized the importance of creating jobs domestically through resource-based industrialization. He explained that the change has led to increased tax revenues and other contributions, benefiting the nation’s economy.

“Specifically for PT Freeport Indonesia, Indonesia also receives dividends as the largest shareholder. According to him, if resource-based industrialization is expanded to include bauxite, copper, tin, coal, palm oil, and raw seaweed, more job opportunities could be created.

Lastly, President Jokowi stressed the critical role of selecting capable leaders in the upcoming elections. He cautioned against repeating the scenario of Latin American countries that remained in the developing category due to missed opportunities.

Jokowi’s repeated reminders underscore the gravity of choosing leaders who can harness Indonesia’s potential and lead the nation toward becoming a developed powerhouse.

In conclusion, President Jokowi’s speeches emphasize the importance of maintaining unity during the political year, prioritizing resource-based industrialization, and selecting capable leaders to drive Indonesia’s economic growth and development on the global stage.

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