Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Rp3 trillion (US$192 million) in people's business credit (KUR) disbursed by state-owned Bank Syariah Indonesia (BSI) could strengthen Aceh's economy, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said.

The Rp3 trillion KUR for Aceh is almost a quarter of the Rp14 trillion (US$896 million) micro-credit fund provided by BSI nationwide, he noted.

"The Rp3 trillion will trigger, bolster, and (help) develop the economy in Aceh," he said during the handover of KUR and subsidized fertilizer digital farmer's cards in North Aceh, Aceh, on Friday.

To highlight the importance of sustainable economic development, he recalled his experience of working at Aceh-based company PT Kertas Kraft Aceh in 1985, where he witnessed how the fast development of Aceh's economy slowed due to the depletion of the province's gas reserves.

"Because the gas is depleted, major factories closed down. If all (factories) close down, what will happen next? Lay-offs, and what will happen next? A reduction of money circulation in the region. The economy will grow if more money is circulating," President Jokowi said.

He also pointed out that Aceh has other economic potentials that can be developed further, including in the trade, fisheries, agriculture, and plantation sectors.

He said that he had earlier inaugurated an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) fertilizer factory of PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda (PIM) in North Aceh, which reopened after halting operations in 2005.

"We have just officiated PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda, which we reopen with Rp1.7 trillion (US$108.8 million) investment. How it will turn out? It will open new jobs for the people, just like when I was working at PT Kertas Kraft Aceh," he said.

The President also commended Aceh's economic performance in 2022, with the province recording a growth of 4.21 percent compared to -0.37 percent growth in 2020.

"We must be thankful for this. Do not forget to be thankful for all blessings that Allah has given to us. From -0.3 to plus 4.21 (economic growth), it is something that we must be thankful for," he remarked.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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