As Covid-19 wreaks havoc across Indonesia and businesses are forced to close, the World Bank predicts that the country’s economy may shrink by as much 3.5% this year. The government is now pushing ahead with easing restrictions to help stimulate the economy, despite a surge in coronavirus infections nationwide. At the same time, it has announced a US$44.3 billion economic recovery package to strengthen its safety net programs, provide cash injections to state-owned enterprises, and offer subsidised loans for micro, small and medium enterprises.
How badly has the Covid-19 pandemic affected Indonesia’s economy, and which sectors and sections of society have been impacted the most? Is the government’s push to reopen the economy premature? What can the government do to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 while also minimising the damage to the economy?
In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Puspa Delima Amri, Assistant Professor of Economics at Sonoma State University and a regular visiting fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta. She is also a research associate at the Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies.
In 2020, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University and the Australia-Indonesia Centre, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.
Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.
Photo by Antara.