Sri Mulyani Indrawati walks out of the State Palace after meeting President Joko Widodo on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Jokowi Retains Sri Mulyani as Finance Minister


OCTOBER 22, 2019

Jakarta. Sri Mulyani Indrawati was all smiles as she walked out of the State Palace on Tuesday, knowing she would retain her job as finance minister in the next cabinet.

Dressed in a crisp white shirt and a pair of black trousers just like other ministerial candidates who came to the palace before her, she claimed she was given authority by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to confirm her reappointment in the new cabinet.

She was the first among the other candidates to be able to confirm her post before the official announcement by the president.

"The president said I could tell the media he had asked me to stay on as finance minister," Sri Mulyani told a press conference outside the palace shortly after her meeting with Jokowi.

"I listened to his directives on what the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin government wants to achieve," she said.

"In the economic sector, we will continue our efforts to create employment, pushing [for more growth in] the economy so we can improve the quality of employment and increase job creation," she said.

The president and the minister also discussed macro-economic policies to tackle the current account deficit and the trade deficit.

"We need to strengthen the domestic economy's resilience by increasing supply chains, luring investments and issuing pro-job and pro-small and medium enterprises policies," she said.

The former World Bank managing director said she spoke at length with Jokowi about fiscal policies to support the capital market and banking sector while empowering SMEs and creating more jobs.

"Indonesia is facing global uncertainties and economic slowdown, we need continuous policies to protect our economy from that slowdown," the 57-year-old said.

"Personally, it is an honor for me to have the opportunity to continue my job as finance minister," she said. 

Sri Mulyani has been involved in the cabinet since the early days of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's presidency in 2004, when she headed the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) for 14 months. 

She first became finance minister in December 2005 until an internal feud in the cabinet – reportedly involving tycoon Aburizal Bakrie – forced her to resign in May 2010, a month before she joined the World Bank.

She was called home by Jokowi to serve as finance minister in July 2016.