President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reiterated on Thursday his claims of success in improving Indonesia’s role in international affairs during his annual state speech delivered to commemorate the country’s 67th anniversary of its declaration of independence.
The President cited an example of how the International Monetary Fund(IMF) had shifted its view on Indonesia today.
“Fourteen years ago, amid the great economic crisis, the IMF came to lend us money with conditions that actually harmed our economy,” Yudhoyono told hundreds of listeners who had packed the main plenary room of the House of Representatives building.
“But today, our economy maintains its positive growth and the IMF comes not to offer loans but to consult and exchange opinions with Indonesia on how to deal with the recent global crisis,” the President added.
Last month, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde visited Jakarta and met with Yudhoyono at the State Palace.
Along with Lagarde’s visit, the government announced that Indonesia would contribute US$1 billion to the IMF in the form of purchasing IMF bonds. The decision, which sparked controversy, was aimed at helping the IMF tackle the fallout from Europe’s debt crisis.
“Our views and initiatives in responding to the various range of international dynamic circumstances have been acknowledged and taken into greater account. The international community now asks itself ‘What does Indonesia think?’ and comes to Indonesia to seek our opinions,” Yudhoyono claimed.
“This proves that we stand strong in the center of the international arena.