Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has instructed the tourism and creative economy minister to launch a labor-intensive program involving workers in the tourism sector that has borne the maximum brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Budget reallocation in the Tourism Ministry must be directed toward the labor-intensive program," the president stated during a virtual limited meeting to discuss measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism and creative economy sectors at the Merdeka Palace here on Thursday.

Jokowi did not furnish additional details on the program though highlighted the need to involve workers in the tourism sector, the worst-hit by the novel coronavirus transmission.

Immediate action is deemed critical to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, he emphasized.

However, the head of state forecasts a boom in the tourism sector in 2021 after the coronavirus transmission can be curbed.

Hence, the president has called on the tourism industry to remain optimistic.

Earlier, the government had projected Indonesia’s economy in 2021 to grow in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 percent, with plausible hopes of a domestic economic recovery in the third quarter of 2020 and accelerating next year.

Inflation rate is projected to lie in the range of two to four percent in 2021. The state budget deficit is forecast to decline to three to four percent, from a possible deficit of 5.07 percent in 2020.
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Translator: Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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