Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said that rising imports have been the cause of the economic crisis in Indonesia.

"After the economy remains on the upswing and stable for five years in a row, this crisis always happens," he said during a discussion with the Indonesian Christian Youth Movement (GAMKI) here on Friday.

He noted that when the economy is improving, it is always followed by a change in lifestyle, as people purchase autos, wear better clothing and begin purchasing more expensive medical care.

"This change has caused a dependency on imported products, leading to an economic crisis, like now," he said.

The minister said that this was not the first time this has happened in Indonesia, as its has occurred several times and appears to be a vicious cycle which is difficult to stop.

Meanwhile, he added, only two countries in the world have so far been able to grow more than six percent annually, namely Indonesia and China, while India`s economy, which has been among the world`s three fastest growing, has begun declining.

He added that "the problem (imports), however, has always happened and has occurred several times, including in 2003, 2008 and now 2013."

In addition, there are also stock prices and rupiah exchange rate problems that are difficult to solve, but have to be solved immediately to return them to stability by reducing dependency upon imports, he said.

"We are not against imports or becoming blind nationalists, but we have to reduce our dependency on imports in order to stabilize the economy," he said.

reporting by Joyce Bukarakombang

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2013