Jakarta (ANTARA) – Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno have vowed to strive for food and energy self-sufficiency to reduce trade deficit if they win in the 2019 presidential election.
The import policy failed to reduce prices of basic needs and make the prices stable and affordable, Uno said during the fifth round of the presidential election debate held at Sultan Hotel in Jakarta on Saturday evening.
Efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency would include distribution of fertilizer and seed for farmers and stop of commodity imports particularly during grand harvest season, he remarked.
As for energy self-sufficiency, they planned to use biofuel energy and utilize 10 million hectares of damaged and neglected land.
“Together with Prabowo and Sandi, we will reduce electricity tariffs and will make sure the availability of affordable basic needs without issuing new cards,” Uno said.
Meanwhile, incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has vowed to stop trade deficit by implementing policies to boost exports and reduce imports.
Jokowi during the debate said trade balance posted a deficit in 2018. However, he added, the trade balance improved in the first quarter of 2019, thanks to reform of policies in the fields of export and domestic industrialization.
The Indonesian Government has boosted the development of oil refineries to increase oil production, he noted, adding that it was because oil and gas imports in 2018 contributed to the trade deficit.
“Our trade deficit is some eight billion US dollars. To deal with oil and gas imports, we will build oil refineries,” Jokowi said.
The final presidential debate on Saturday evening focused on economic, social welfare, finance and investment, as well as trade and industry.
Indonesia will organize simultaneous legislative and presidential elections on April 17, 2019, where Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin will face challenger Prabowo Subianto and his pair, Sandiaga Uno.
The number of eligible voters expected to cast their ballots is some 192 million people, out of the country’s 260 million population.