Jakarta (ANTARA) - Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has said that the defense industry is vital for national sovereignty, primarily as Indonesia is a large and resource-rich country.

"Defense industry is a vital and decisive aspect of our independence and sovereignty," Subianto affirmed during "The 1st Defend ID's Day" event at the Indonesian Aerospace hangar in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday.

During the agenda, the minister noted that Indonesia's land area is equal to the entire West Europe region, and the country has the 4th largest population and the 16th largest economy in the world.

"Moreover, we also have outstandingly abundant natural resources, so many that international experts and agencies have projected that, with the current parameter, we will soon become the 8th or 7th largest economy; some others have even said that we will become the 5th or 4th largest economy," Subianto said.

However, Indonesia should not become complacent due to the optimistic projection, he added. Indonesia should continue bolstering its capability to utilize, manage, and protect its assets.

"Those three capabilities will determine whether we will be a prosperous country or not. We want to be an advanced, prosperous country," the minister said.

Subianto also underscored that the defense industry is essential for Indonesia, which must remain vigilant to tackle potential threats that might endanger the country.

"A country as rich and as large as ours will always be harassed, and many will attempt to acquire our resources -- this is natural. Our diverse asset will be exposed to diverse strategies and tactics (by those wanting) to steal what is ours," he said.

The defense industry will also remain vital for Indonesia as international competition and contention intensify in the future, he added.

"Indonesia should be vigilant and be strong because those who are weak will be suppressed and subjected again. Subjection in the current times, unlike the past, is invisible, but they will always seek ways to control us," Subianto said.

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Translator: Fath Putra Mulya, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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