"The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the agility of all countries, including in the supply of medicines," Muhammad Khayam, the ministry's Director General of Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Textile Industry, noted in a statement here on Wednesday.
To this end, the government has continued to consolidate the pharmaceutical industry manufacturing structure through spurring research to create innovative products, among other endeavors.
Khayam made the statement during a visit to state-run oil firm PT Pertamina's refinery in Cilacap, Central Java.
"We laud PT Pertamina that has worked in cooperation with PT Kimia Farma Tbk to develop the raw material industry for paracetamol that used benzene," he pointed out.
Khayam noted that the ministry will support optimization of petrochemical derivative products processed into pharmaceutical raw material.
The program has been included in the National Research Priorities (PRN) 2020-2024 under the coordination of the Research and Technology Ministry/the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).
It is expected to boost competitiveness of the country's chemical industry and help lower the trade balance deficit, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, he stated.
Indonesia's pharmaceutical industry has produced 90 percent of the domestic medicine demand, Khayam stated.
Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita earlier reiterated that the ministry had included the healthcare equipment industry and pharmaceutical industry in the priority program of Making Indonesia 4.0.
Indonesia's self-reliance in these industries is deemed crucial, particularly in the wake of the current health emergency situation.
According to the ministry’s data, the chemical, pharmaceutical, and traditional medicine industry had recorded a growth of 5.59 percent in the first quarter of 2020. During the period, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry had booked an investment of Rp9.83 trillion.
Related news: Pharmaceutical, medical industries included in Making Indonesia 4.0
Related news: Indonesia aims for self-reliance in medical devices, products
EDITED BY INE