Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) analyzed the ongoing economic development in the country in his speech at a graduation ceremony at Al Azhar Indonesia University here on Saturday.

"I said it is important that (the economic programs) do not stop at mere rhetoric and must be implemented on the ground through policies and actions across Indonesia," he stated.

In his scientific oration, titled "Building Indonesian Maritime: Religious and Cultural Values-based Economy," at the Manggala Wanabakti Auditorium of the Ministry of Forestry and Environment, SBY warned that Indonesia would suffer losses if it only exploited land resources.

He stressed that Indonesia must resort to good management while using its resources so that "our economy improves but at the same time the environment also remains preserved".

"This is what blue or green economy means. Other countries have started adopting such a strategy and we must not be left behind," he added.

He also emphasized the importance of not ignoring religious and cultural values while pursuing economic development, drawing attention to the current moral degradation in society.

"In my view, there are two big things that a country needs, namely, the right economic concept and model and justice coupled with environment preservation. The economic model must not be too capitalistic or too market oriented but must exploit the recources that we have, while maintaining balance," he underlined.

SBY reminded that the Islamic world is currently facing a major test. Several Islamic countries are mired in prolonged conflicts. Indonesia as a democratic Islamic country must be able to disseminate peace in friendly countries, he observed.

"Islamic countries are facing a test in the Middle East and North Africa. I hope Indonesia would emerge as a role model to show we can be tolerant and can spread peace and progress," he elaborated.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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