"Simplify and cut the supply chain to make it more efficient. Progress is related to the investment climate in the natural gas sector," President Joko Widodo said at a limited cabinet meeting here on Tuesday.
The government wants to decrease the price of industrial natural gas, currently US$9.5 per MMBTU, so that it can compete with other countries, especially the ASEAN members.
The president said the price of natural gas in Indonesia is higher than that in other countries, such as Vietnam (US$7 per MMBTU), Malaysia and Singapore (US$4 per MMBTU).
"Indonesia has abundant reserves of natural gas, while these countries are natural gas importers," the president noted.
If Indonesia fails to adjust the price of industrial natural gas for the industrial sector, where it is widely used in petrochemical, ceramic, textile, fertilizer and steel industry, the president worried that the domestic products would become less competitive.
"Do not make our industrial products less competitive simply because the gas price is too high," the president noted.
He has asked the relevant ministries and state enterprises to consider the investment potential in the gas sector.
"Consider the aspect of sustainability on all sides, including investment, while strengthening the competitiveness of our industry," the president counseled.(*)