"In future, I am sure trade deficit will disappear, and the key is by developing industry and down streaming. That's the key," Jokowi said during the fifth round of the presidential election debate, which was held at Sultan Hotel, here on Saturday.
The incumbent said trade balance posted a deficit in 2018. However, he added, the trade balance improved in the first quarter of 2019, thanks to reform of policies in the fields of export and domestic industrialization.
The Indonesian Government has boosted the development of oil refineries to increase oil production, he noted, adding that it was because oil and gas imports in 2018 contributed to the trade deficit.
"Our trade deficit is some eight billion US dollars. To deal with oil and gas imports, we will build oil refineries," the presidential candidate said.
The final presidential debate on Saturday evening focused on economic, social welfare, finance and investment, as well as trade and industry.
Indonesia will organize simultaneous legislative and presidential elections on April 17, 2019, where Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin will face challenger Prabowo Subianto and his pair, Sandiaga Uno.