"Rural development is a productive development. I talk a lot about productive development," Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here on Sunday.
These issues have been included in the joint communique to be issued by the leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Pointing out that agricultural development will help achieve regional food security, the vice president noted: "Therefore, we should focus on the development of rural areas."
He underlined that the APEC member countries have expressed their commitment to develop the economy jointly, as stated in the Bogor Goals.
The vice president and other leaders also met the representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"The IMF has predicted that the world trade will drop below three per cent," the vice president stated.
"So, all countries should improve their national economy in order to achieve global economic efficiency," the vice president counseled.
Indonesia understands that implementation of free trade mechanism in the Asia Pacific region should be based on the principles of resilience, inclusiveness and innovation, connectivity, and equitableness (RICE).
"In order to implement free trade, as the APEC declarers in Bogor indicated, we would continue to seek partnerships in keeping with the RICE principles," Vice President Jusuf Kalla pointed out during the first session of the APEC leaders in this Peruvian capital city on Sunday.
At the meeting of 21 APEC economic leaders, Kalla emphasized that amid the ongoing economic slowdown, Indonesia is set to try and achieve the "Bogor Goals" agreed upon by APEC leaders 22 years earlier.
He reminded that Indonesia is already carrying out a number of liberalization programs and has brought about many changes over the past several decades. As a result, the country has been able to cut import duties on goods from countries of the region.
"Indonesia has even jumped several ranks to figure among 10 countries where it is easiest to do business, according to a World Bank report. A survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2016 said Indonesia was the 9th most attractive country for investors. This reflected the progress made since 2014 when Indonesia was ranked 14th," he recalled.
He explained that countries have to contend with three factors to cope with the global economic slowdown and growing protectionism.
"First is that free trade and investment need to be expanded and economic integration must be comprehensive. This would need consultations and coordination between the legislative, executive and community elements, nationally as well as regionally," he added.
Second, there should fair opportunity and healthy competition to boost economic growth, he continued.
Third, micro, small and medium enterprises, farmers, fishermen, unskilled workers and local business people need to be involved in the process of ensuring regional free trade and investment, he concluded.(*)