Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visited Bawah Market, Pekanbaru City, South Sulawesi, to review trade activities and the local economy after the government officially lifted public activity restrictions (PPKM).

"I visited Bawah Market to see the economic movement there, which is about the earnings. traders say (profit in) 2022 is better than 2021, but after PPKM was lifted, traders hope that their earnings improve," Jokowi stated here on Wednesday.

After inaugurating the Pekanbaru-Bangkinang Toll Road, the head of state visited the Bawah Market to ensure that the traders' optimism increases in 2023.

One of the traders in Bawah Market, Masria, expressed pride since Riau became the first province to be visited by President Jokowi in 2023.

"We are very proud that the president visited Riau for his first visit in 2023," she remarked.

During her interaction with Jokowi, she said the president showed interest in one of her traded items, which was a Riau's signature songket cloth.

"Alhamdulillah (Thank God), Mr. President likes and bought this green songket whose material is soft," Masria remarked.

In addition, another trader named Meri said she was elated about the president's visit to Bawah Market. Meri expressed hope that Jokowi's visit would attract other people to visit the market.

"I am happy to meet the president for the first time and his visit to Bawah Market, so that the market can be promoted to other regions. It is a must to go to Bawah Market when visiting Pekanbaru," Meri stated.

During his visit to the market, President Jokowi was accompanied by Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, and Governor of Riau Syamsuar.

In Pekanbaru, the president also visited the Arifin Ahmad Regional General Hospital to see some patients and review the implementation of the National Health Insurance and Healthy Indonesia Card (JKN-KIS) there.

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Translator: Mentari G, Kenzu T
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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