INDONESIA ‘s economy is still doing fine with a sound performance and favorable outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde has said.
She said in a statement after meeting with President Joko Wadodo in Jakarta, that the country’s economy was good and it has stronger policies.
Lagarde called on Indonesia to boost its potential growth rate and channel revenues to more development spending to help create jobs for its growing labor force.
But in recent years, Indonesia has struggled to get its growth rate to exceed 5 percent, well below the pace of China and India, amid tepid consumer demand and foreign direct investment.
GDP growth failed to meet the government’s 5.2 percent budget target last year and the IMF is forecasting that Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, will grow by 5.3 percent in 2018.
The IMF boss and President Widodo discussed the importance of achieving higher potential growth to help generate jobs, adding “This requires mobilizing revenues to finance development spending and support reforms in the product, labor, and financial markets.”
In its recent annual review of Indonesia’s policies, the Fund said the government should spotlight on financing infrastructure with domestic revenue in order to avoid a build-up of external debt.
Lagarde, whose visit comes two decades after a painful IMF bail-out imposed harsh austerity on Indonesia, praised the country’s greatly expanded health care system during a hospital visit.
Widodo also took her shopping at a crowded Jakarta textiles market, along with Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
The IMF chief on Tuesday will participate in an economic conference, featuring central bankers and other officials from ASEAN countries, focused on new growth models and adjusting to rapidly changing technologies.