Indonesia president addresses nation before I-Day

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Jakarta, Aug 16 (IANS) Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday delivered his annual state of the nation address to parliament ahead of the country’s Independence Day.

Speaking to the members of the House of Representatives and the Regional Representatives Council, and with senior members of the government and military standing beside him, the president addressed several issues including terrorism, the economy and the budget, EFE news reported.

After several terror incidents this year including the January terrorist attacks in Jakarta which left eight people dead, and the killing on Sulawesi island last month of Islamic State-allied militant leader Santoso, Widodo in his speech urged Indonesians to be vigilant in fighting terrorism and to prevent its growth in the archipelago nation.

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Speaking about the economy, the president said the government’s bureaucracy has been deregulated and simplified to speed up services, and boost investment and productivity.

He added that more than 3,000 regulations related to trade and investment had been revoked because they weren’t enabling economic development.

Regarding the 2017 state budget, Widodo said it must follow priority programs and not just be evenly divided among working agencies.

“We have committed to ensuring that the 2017 state budget is drawn up accurately, with the aim of improving the people’s welfare,” he said.

His speech to Parliament comes a day before the Southeast Asian country celebrates its Independence Day, marking 71 years after Indonesia declared independence from the Netherlands, which ruled Indonesia since the early 19th century.

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