Indonesia’s Economy Doing Well: Presidential Spokesman

SINGAPORE ~ Indonesia’s economy is “doing quite well” despite global financial turmoil, with exports crossing US$100 billion and forex reserves at their highest, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s spokesman said this week.
Dino Patti Djalal said economic growth was robust and the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product (GDP) had fallen to 35 percent from as high as 80 percent during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998.
GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in the economy.
“We are doing quite well. We are achieving the highest growth since the (1997-1998) crisis. Exports have exceeded $100 billion,” he told a forum in Singapore on Tuesday organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies – Asia.
“Our reserves (are) the highest ever in our history.”
Indonesia was among the economies hit hardest by the Asian financial crisis a decade ago, requiring a massive lifeline from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pull it back from bankruptcy and save the spiralling rupiah currency.
The country has since rebounded, and the central bank said the economy was on track to grow at around 6.3 percent in the third quarter despite global instability triggered by the collapse of the subprime, or higher-risk, mortgage market in the United States beginning last year.
Djalal acknowledged that the Indonesian share market had not done well in the past few days but stressed that “it has been doing very well in the past several years.”
He said Indonesia’s credit ratings are also at their highest since the Asian meltdown and recalled that the country has repaid its loan to the IMF four years ahead of schedule.
While the economy was doing well, poverty and unemployment remained serious challenges, Djalal said.

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