Indonesia secures $ 1 billion Australian loan to offset virus impact
Indonesia has received an AUD 1.5 billion (USD 1.07 billion) loan from Australia to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday.
“We really appreciate the support from various sources, including the support from Australia’s loans,” Sri Mulyani Indrawati said at a virtual conference.
She said the loan will be allocated to the tax sector to help enterprises and micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as to manage fiscal sustainability.
Sri Mulyani explained that the support would be useful for a rapid and strong economic recovery.
“We all know and understand that COVID-19 brings challenges for all of us, especially for both of us as finance ministers,” said the minister, who was joined by her Australian counterpart Josh Frydenberg via video link.
Indonesia will continue to formulate fiscal policies to support the health sector and social safety nets, she said.
“We believe that this type of partnership underscores not only the strong relationship between Indonesia and Australia, but also mutual understanding as neighboring countries that have a common goal. We cannot recover from this pandemic on our own, ”she said.
Meanwhile, Frydenberg said the Indonesian government has focused on protecting citizens from the “worst of the pandemic.”
The loan is a recognition of Indonesia’s track record in sound fiscal management, he said, adding: “A rapid and solid recovery is essential not only for Indonesia but also for Australia and our region. .
Southeast Asia’s largest economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, as efforts to contain the coronavirus have taken a hit on consumer demand and business activity.
Its economic growth plunged 3.49% in the third quarter of this year, after falling 5.32% in the previous three months.
Indonesia has recorded the highest number of virus cases and related deaths in Southeast Asia with more than 452,000 infections and nearly 15,000 deaths.
* Written by Maria Elisa Hospita of Indonesian Language Services in Jakarta