We cannot continue to import raw materials, it is not fair to our people…
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President-elect Prabowo Subianto told investors and representatives of foreign countries at the Qatar Economic Forum on Wednesday that Indonesia is not a protectionist country.

He said that Indonesia is seeking to protect its national interests, including by processing its own natural wealth and reducing its dependence on imports.

"We are being misjudged. We are not a protectionist country. What we do is very reasonable, and any country in the world will fight or protect the national interests of their people," he added.

He made the statement in response to a question from senior journalist Haslinda Amin at the forum on Wednesday, which was broadcast live on Bloomberg TV's YouTube channel.

Prabowo said that Indonesia wants to derive full benefit from its natural resources through its main downstreaming policy.

"We cannot continue to import raw materials, it is not fair to our people, as we will not be able to become a developed industrial country," he added.

Therefore, he said that when he takes over the Presidential office, he will continue the downstreaming policy initiated by President Joko Widodo.

"The downstreaming will take several years, but it will be a driver of our economic growth," he added.

He informed that Indonesia imports fuel oil and diesel fuel worth US$20 billion every year. If it can switch to biodiesel by utilizing its palm oil, the country can reduce dependence on imports while boosting its economic growth, he said.

Prabowo said that he is optimistic that Indonesia's economic growth would reach 8 percent in the future.

"I am very optimist. I have discussed this with many experts. I have studied about this," he added.

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Translator: Genta M, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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