Vaccine drive would push economic growth to 5%: Hartarto

Jakarta The administration of COVID-19 vaccines would help Indonesia achieve its economic growth target of 5 percent for 2021, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said.

“We could see that in this January, or for along 2021, the state budget was designated to push the economic growth to 5 percent,” the minister said in a statement received here on Tuesday.

Three million coronavirus vaccines, produced by China’s Sinovac, have been distributed to several regions as they are expected to be gradually administered, starting mid-January, 2021 to the first quarter of 2022.

Indonesians are currently waiting for the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) to issue emergency use authorization for the vaccine, as well as the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to certify its halal status.

The assurance from both organizations could boost people’s confidence to revive activities, leading to improved consumption and purchasing power, Hartarto noted.

“People are now having the confidence to consume. The confidence level has been rising, people’s consumption has been also moving [up],” he added.

He said he is optimistic that Indonesia may reach the target as the economy has improved after reaching “rock bottom” in the second quarter of 2020, when it recorded -5.32 percent growth. In the third quarter of 2020, Indonesia narrowed the contraction with -3.49 percent growth.

Several international organizations have predicted Indonesia’s economy will rebound this year, including the World Bank, which has projected a 4.4 percent growth, the International Monetary Fund, which has pegged growth at 6.1 percent, and the Asian Development Bank, which has forecast a growth of 5.3 percent.

“But, indeed, we should monitor the dynamics of this COVID-19 outbreak,” Hartarto added, noting that the government and the people must be prepared for the spread of the new coronavirus strain. (INE)

Source: Antara News