Bali is the hardest hit economy in Indonesia: Jokowi

President Joko Widodo during a virtual meeting on Sept. 1. Photo: Cabinet Secretariat
President Joko Widodo during a virtual meeting on Sept. 1. Photo: Cabinet Secretariat

Bali has taken the biggest economic hit in Indonesia from the COVID-19 pandemic, President Joko Widodo said today, as he urges immediate regional budget spending for Indonesia to avoid entering a recession. 

“The biggest economic contraction was recorded […] in Bali, which is in a negative growth of 10.98 percent,” Jokowi said during a virtual meeting with Indonesia’s governors earlier today.

“This is because tourists, and tourism, is so dominant for Bali’s economy and so we can see how it [resulted] in this sharp decline.”

As Indonesia’s top tourist destination, the global halt in travel has resulted in a massive decline for Bali’s tourism industry, which reportedly contributes between 54 to 58 percent to the province’s economy.

Bali reopened to domestic tourism at the end of July to speed up its economic recovery. However, as Indonesia appears set to keep its borders closed for the rest of the year, the lack of foreign tourists are fueling skepticism among local businesses of their chances to survive the impacts of the pandemic. 

Read Also All hands on deck: Bali’s tourism players explore possibilities to attract domestic tourists

Jakarta and Yogyakarta are also among the poor economic performers in Indonesia, with an economic slowdown of 8.22 percent and 6.74 percent respectively. On the other hand, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua are the only ones reporting positive growth at 4.52 and 0.53 percent respectively. 

After its GDP contracted 5.32 percent in the second quarter, the Indonesian economy is facing the threat of a recession as it enters its third quarter.

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