"The import hike was needed to support the production sector," she said in a press conference on developments in the 2018 state budget here on Monday.
The imports mostly comprised capital goods and raw materials to support production activities in various economic sectors, she said.
If the imports were reduced in a short run, investment would be disrupted and economic growth would come under pressure, she said.
After all, the government is determined to build industries producing raw materials in medium and long terms to reduce the country`s dependence on imports, she said.
"The government will always intensify its policy to build domestic industries so that the country can meet the need for intermediate goods and capital goods on its own," she said.
In addition, it will also strengthen the country`s competitive edge in order to improve its export performance and reduce its trade deficit, she said.
Earlier, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced that Indonesia suffered a deficit of US$1.52 billion in its foreign trade.
Indonesia`s exports in May 2018 were valued at US$14.54 billion, up 16.31 percent compared to the previous month and up 22.28 percent year on year (yoy).
Meanwhile, imports rose 9.17 percent to US$17.64 billion compared with the previous month and up 24.75 percent yoy.
The agency noted that the oil and gas sector contributed US$1.24 billion to the trade deficit, while the non-oil/non-gas sector contributed US$1.23 billion.