Accelerated development of smelters may boost economic growth

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The accelerated development of smelters and the issuance of mineral export permits may boost the nation's economic growth, which slowed in the first quarter to 5.21 percent, a central bank official said.

"The problems arising from the implementation of the mineral and coal mining law can be overcome. Should we accelerate the development of the smelters to resume exports?" Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Perry Warjiyo asked here on Friday.

Mineral exports could be increased if the government shortened the licensing process, he said.

The decline in exports has been caused by three factors. One was the fiscal policy, as a follow up to the mineral and coal mining law that bans the export of unprocessed minerals, he said.

The other two factors were China's economic slowdown and low commodity prices in the global market, he said.

Bank Indonesia had earlier projected that real exports of goods and services would grow by 8.1-8.5 percent this year, but later revised down expectations to 1.5-1.9 percent.

The central bank also had earlier predicted that the ban on the export of unprocessed minerals would reduce mineral exports in 2014 by US$1.8 billion. However, the result of the latest calculation indicated it might cut mineral exports by US$3.8 billion. 

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