International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde’s Jakarta visit next week is likely intended to question Indonesia about its earlier pledge to loan the IMF some funds, a top Indonesian official has said.
Indonesian Coordinating minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa said in Jakarta on Friday he was not sure yet of what Lagarde wanted to discuss with Indonesian officials during her scheduled visit to Jakarta on July 8-10, which would include a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on July 10.
But he said it most likely had something to do with Indonesia’s agreement, along with other nations of the G-20 economic group, to support the IMF made during the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, last month.
As a follow-up to the pledge, Finance minister Agus Martowardojo said last week that Indonesia was planning to loan up to $1 billion to the IMF.
“The IMF might want to ask about that [the loan pledge], among other things. IMF is in need of $430 billion to inject funds to some countries having financial difficulties. Hopefully they won’t spend all the money in Europe, but also in Africa and other countries in need,” Hatta said.
“We see now that Indonesia has no intention to borrow any money. On the contrary we want to contribute to the global economy. We now have the upper hand,” he added.
Hatta said, however, that the Indonesian government had yet to make a final decision on the pledge, saying not all Indonesians were happy with the plan as they still maintained a negative opinion of the IMF.
“We’ll see… Our people are rather sensitive; they’ll get angry if we borrow money [from the IMF] and also if we lend it some money. Although the IMF has been reformed, our people still have their own opinion of the IMF.”
He further added that if Indonesia lends the money, it would be on the condition that the IMF would not exclusively channel the fund to Europe.
Aside from visiting Indonesia, Lagarde is scheduled to visit Japan on July 6-7 and Thailand on July 11-12.