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The second phase of the Indonesian government’s vaccination drive has now been launched with the elderly and those in the public-facing workforce being prioritized. This includes hospitality and tourism related workers, a positive step to help the recovery in a sector which represented around 8% of GDP before the pandemic, but one which is still most dependent on the future relaxation of social distancing and travel restrictions. With between 12 and 15 months anticipated as required to complete the initial target of vaccinating around 182 million people, approximately 70% of the population, the need to couple this health drive with continued fiscal stimuli to ensure a smooth economic recovery is the challenge facing the government in 2021. It’s a situation not unique to Indonesia with several countries announcing in recent weeks, significant investments in measures similar to those announced here, where almost Rp700 trillion has been ear-marked in the current state budget to support Indonesia’s national economic recovery program. With Indonesia’s balance of trade remaining positive on the back of stronger exports, the rupiah stable, inflation low and consumer confidence showing signs of improving, Bank Indonesia last month also lowered by a further 25 basis points, its 7-day reverse repo rate to also help stimulate demand further.

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