Jakarta. Four months after joining the ruling coalition, National Mandate Party's (PAN) senior politician Sutrisno Bachir was appointed as chairman of the National Economics and Industry Committee, or KEIN, at the State Palace on Wednesday.
President Joko Widodo inaugurated Sutrisno, who is also chief of the PAN advisory board, as KEIN chairman along with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Arif Budimanta as deputy chairman and Putri Kuswisnu Wardani as secretary.
Minutes after the inauguration, Joko met with the newly appointed KEIN officials to hear their thoughts about his plan to implement special economic zones to boost investment.
“I want to get a better picture [of the current industry situation], as we have a lot of industries here from China, Taiwan, Japan, [South] Korea and others,” the president said.
Joko hoped that the new committee would advise the government appropriately in addressing economic and industrial issues, presidential spokesman Johan Budi told reporters.
At least 18 members were also inaugurated to support Sutrisno in addressing the country's economic challenges, including economist Hendri Saparini and Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani.
Several senior businessmen and experts also joined the board, including Eddy Kusnadi Sariaatmaja, Sudhamek, Johnny Darmawan, Benny Soetrisno, M. Fadhil Hasan, Benny Pasaribu, Sony Budi Harsono, Aries Muftie and M. Syafii Antonio.
Other appointees include M. Najikh, Andri B.S. Sudibyo, Zulnahar Usman, Irfan Wahid, Dony Oskaria and Sugiarto Alim.
After the inauguration, Sutrisno immediately resigned as a senior adviser in his party.
"I'm not representing PAN," Sutrisno said.
The committee, which was previously called the National Economics Committee (KEN), will remain under the auspices of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and will act only in an advisory capacity.