Jokowi Takes IMF Chief for 'Blusukan' at Tanah Abang Market


FEBRUARY 26, 2018

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo took International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde on an impromptu visit, or blusukan, to Southeast Asia's largest textile market, Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta, on Monday (26/02).

The blusukan was aimed at showing the actual situation of Indonesia's microbusinesses and the state of the country's economic development, reported.

"This afternoon, I visited Tanah Abang Market to show Ms. Christine Lagarde that small and medium enterprises – that there are so many microbusinesses in our country, Indonesia," the president said, as quoted by Antara.

Lagarde met Jokowi at the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta prior to their visit to the market.

The visit relates to Jokowi's concern for small and medium enterprise development as the market is home to 19,000 kiosks owned by local businesses.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati assisted Lagarde with the purchase of a baju koko (long-sleeved shirt commonly worn by Indonesian Muslim men) for her husband.

Following the visit, Jokowi took Lagarde to visit of Pertamina Hospital in South Jakarta to review the services and facilities, especially involving the national health card program, known as Kartu Indonesia Sehat, which offers Indonesia citizens free medical checkups and treatment.

Kartu Indonesia Sehat was one of Jokowi's presidential campaign programs.

"I am delighted to be back in Jakarta and it was a particular pleasure to accompany President Widodo on his blusukan visit to Pertamina Hospital and Tanah Abang Market, where I met so many wonderful Indonesian people," Lagarde said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe.

Lagarde will be one of the speakers at the IMF-Bank Indonesia Conference titled "New Growth Models in a Changing Global Landscape," which will take place in Jakarta on Tuesday.

She will also stop over in Yogyakarta before proceeding to Bali to view the venue for the IMF-World Bank annual meeting, scheduled for October.