Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said that improving competitiveness and productivity is essential for Indonesia to break free from the middle-income trap.

"A characteristic of countries that can escape the middle-income trap is they certainly can build their competitiveness and productivity. It means they can produce, sell (products) to the global market," she explained.

She made the statement at the "National Seminar on Prevention of Corruption in Export-Import Governance and Services" at the National Police's Tribrata Building in Jakarta on Thursday.

According to her, productivity and competitiveness can be realized in export and import transactions, both in terms of services and goods.

Thus, the justification for escaping the middle-income trap is not only improving the domestic economy, but also taking advantage of global demand.

Indrawati said that another characteristic of developed countries is that they can prevent corruption from paralyzing their country. She further said she believes that successful countries are those that can reduce the level of corruption and illegal activities.

Furthermore, not all countries in global history have managed to become developed countries, she pointed out. The majority of countries in the world are in the low- or middle-income group.

She said that based on a study conducted by the World Bank, where she previously served as managing director and chief operating officer, less than 20 countries have managed to escape from the middle-income trap to become high-income countries.

Therefore, the Ministry of Finance has continued to innovate to support export-import services, for instance, through the implementation of the Customs Excise Integrated System and Automation (CEISA) 4.0 to reduce dwelling time.

The ministry has also formed the National Single Window Institution to integrate business processes.

The ministry's Directorate General of Taxes (DJP) is also developing the Core Tax System to ensure better and more efficient taxation services.

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Translator: Imamatul Silfia, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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