Jakarta: President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said that development of new oil and gas refineries should be the government's priority in the next few years. He explained that the program can help reduce the country's trade deficit.
"Development of oil refineries must be our priority. Oil production must also be increased," Jokowi told a limited cabinet meeting here on Monday, November 11, 2019.
"We have to reduce the deficit. It should be our focus," he added.
In addition, Jokowi also asked related agencies to continue B20, B30 and B100 biodiesel programs. He revealed that the programs have succeeded to decrease the country's diesel fuel imports.
The current account deficit decreased from USD8.2 billion (2.9 of GDP) in Q2/2019 to USD7.7 billion (2.7% of GDP) in Q3/2019.
Ameliorated performance of the current account was attributed to an upturn goods trade surplus linked to the lower oil and gas trade deficit, amidst the stable non-oil and gas trade surplus.
The oil and gas trade deficit narrowed as declining imports, in line with the positive impact of import control policies, including the B-20 program.
Meanwhile, non-oil and gas trade surplus relatively stable amidst a weakening global economy and declining export commodity prices.
Improvement in the current account deficit was also backed by a decrease in the primary income deficit due to smaller dividends repatriation and service interest payments on external debt.