The Supreme Court inaugurated Destry Damayanti as senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Dhemas Reviyanto)

Destry Damayanti Inaugurated as Bank Indonesia Senior Deputy Governor

BY : LONA OLAVIA

AUGUST 07, 2019

Jakarta. The Supreme Court inaugurated Destry Damayanti as senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, replacing Mirza Adityaswara, whose term expired on July 25. 

The veteran economist will join the central bank's board to help it steer Indonesia's monetary policy amid a global economic slowdown and an escalating trade and currency war between the United States and China – the world's two largest economies and Indonesia's key trade partners. 

Destry swore to maintain the central bank's independence during Wednesday's inauguration ceremony, led by Chief Justice Hatta Ali. 

"I swear that in becoming senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, I never directly or indirectly, under whatever circumstance, accept or promise anything to anyone," Destry said. 

She was the sole candidate President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo proposed to the House of Representatives last month to fill the vacancy. 

Destry previously served on the board of commissioners of the Indonesian Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) and as chief economist at state-owned lender Bank Mandiri. She also advised the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs between 2011 and 2015 before Jokowi asked her to chair a committee to select a new leadership for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Destry obtained an economics degree from the University of Indonesia and pursued a master degree at Cornell University in New York. 

She said the central bank must focus more on directing its policy toward strengthening the domestic economy, in the face of uncertainty in the global economy. 

"This has always been Bank Indonesia's challenge to maintain stability in the financial sector, especially of the exchange rate. Sometimes there is nothing happening in the country, but because of global shocks, we are also impacted," she said on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony. 

"But if we maintain our macroeconomic condition, we don't need to panic, because the shocks are only temporary," she added. 

Destry will get straight to work, with a board meeting waiting for her tonight. The new deputy governor said she would lay out her five strategic focus areas.

First, she would continue a mixed policy approach, which the current board has been implementing by combining monetary and macroprudential instruments. Second, deepening the country's financial sector so it does not rely too heavily on foreign capital inflow. 

Third, supporting the development of digital payment systems, to allow for greater efficiency and to make it more user-friendly. Fourth, expanding shariah-compliant financial products, and lastly, strengthening cooperation between financial institutions.

"I personally have a commitment to improving coordination between institutions," Destry said.

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