World Economy

Jakarta Fighting to Avert Financial Crisis

Jakarta Fighting  to Avert  Financial CrisisJakarta Fighting  to Avert  Financial Crisis

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday announced a package of measures to stimulate the economy and attract investment after saying the country is “racing against time” to avert a financial crisis, Reuters reported. Eighty-nine regulations are to be reformed in a bid to streamline business licensing and speed up development projects. The government also decided to halve annual interest rates on loans given to small businesses and speed up the development of housing for low-income citizens. Other measures promised include widening tax holidays for investors and policies aimed at propping up the currency. An economic slowdown and a slumping rupiah have sparked fears of a repeat of the 1997-98 financial crisis which crippled Indonesia’s economy. The rupiah is trading at a 17-year low to about 14,200 to the dollar, while the stock market index has lost more than 20% this year. The economy grew 4.6% in the second quarter, albeit at the slowest pace in six years.