Indonesia’s President Widodo reshuffles cabinet to boost slowing economy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2015, 6:05pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2015, 6:05pm

Indonesian President Joko Widodo replaced key economic ministers in a cabinet reshuffle Wednesday less than a year into his term, after facing criticism for failing to revive growth.

 Former central bank governor Darmin Nasution was named to the important post of chief economics minister, while prominent private equity executive Thomas Lembong was appointed the new trade minister.

 Four other ministers, including the security minister and maritime affairs minister, were also replaced.

 The reshuffle was announced at the presidential palace in Jakarta, where the new ministers took an oath.

 Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, was inaugurated in October after winning power on a pledge to boost Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, which has been slowing in recent years as demand for its key commodities exports decline.

 But growth has continued to slide, falling to a six-year low of 4.67 percent in the second quarter, and the government has been criticised for a series of policy flip-flops and a lack of organisation.

 His administration has notably failed to kickstart a promised flurry of major infrastructure projects, seen as crucial to attracting foreign investment and raising growth. Many ministries face criticism for only spending a fraction of their budgets.

 Also replaced Wednesday was security minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno. Luhut Panjaitan, Widodo’s chief of staff and a figure close to the president, was appointed to the post.

 Maritime affairs minister Indroyono Soesilo was replaced by Rizal Ramli, while national development planning minister Andrinof Chaniago was replaced by Sofyan Djalil, who moves from the post of chief economics minister.

 Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto was replaced by Pramono Anung.