President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the world has experienced economic downturn and many countries, for example Latin America and Europe, were unable to bear it and in a minus position. As a result, demand for oil palm declined so that the prices also fell.
“Praise be to God, we can still maintain our economy at above 5 percent amidst global economic downturn,” said the President when meeting with Rubber Farmers across South Sumatra Province, at the Rubber Research Center, Sembawa Research Center, Banyuasin Regency, Saturday (9/3).
As for rubber prices, according to the President, the Government has made several efforts to control rubber prices by lowering rubber supplies to the market; thus, the prices can rise. The President went on to say that the Government was in contact with Malaysia and Thailand considering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are the largest rubber producers.
Despite tough negotiations with other countries, according to the President, three weeks ago the Government managed to discuss with Malaysia and Thailand. As a result, rubber prices have begun to rise since two weeks ago from Rp5,000-6,000 to Rp8,300-9,000 now.
This, according to the President, should be grateful because the situation of the world economy is still not good but will return to normalcy.
Furthermore, the President said that he had ordered Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono to purchase rubber from the community. The President suggested the Minister to asphalt road mixed with rubber as has been tried in South Sumatra, Riau, and Jambi.
“It costs more, but the quality of the road is better,” the President said, adding that all provinces, regencies, and cities across Indonesia will also use asphalt mixed with rubber.
On that occasion, the President reiterated that some of the rubbers must be used for domestic need so that the supply to the world was reduced; thus, the prices would increase.
Accompanying the President on the occasion were Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, and South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru. (UN/EN)
Translated by: Muhardi
Edited by: Mia Medyana B.