Govt to boost growth of petrochemical industry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government plans to boost growth in the petrochemical, chemical, iron and steel industries as they offer enormous potential for developing the national economy, Chief Economic Minister, Darmin Nasution said.

"We will promote the three industries to become the prime industries, in addition to a number of other industries that also need to be boosted, including pharmaceutical industry," he said at a new year meeting with the chief editors on Thursday.

He said the development of the national industries in the past 10 to 15 years was not quite big and most of their production was for meeting domestic demand.

As a result, he said, when global economy weakened as is the case now, the volume and value of exports of industries dropped significantly.

"Exports from most of industries last year declined although some also recorded an increase," he said referring to industries, such as jewelry, footwear and chemical.

He said if a country wants to advance its industrial sector must develop well.

Prospects of the industrial sector will remain good, compared with the mining sector, he said.

He said unlike the mining industry that needs many highly-skilled workers, as well as workers with low skills, the industrial sector accommodates workers with any level of skill.

Compared with the agricultural sector, he said, the industrial sector is also still more beneficial, referring to the result of the 2013 Agriculture Census, which showed that five million farmers have moved to other sectors, such as industrial and service sectors in comparison with the result of the 2003 census.

Minister Darmin said government investment is needed especially in the petrochemical, chemical and iron and steel industries to boost the national economy.(*)