With the global economic recovery only slowly grinding forward, export-dependent Indonesia's new president will need to strengthen the country's finances and spur private investment, the CEO of one of the country's largest conglomerates told CNBC.
The president's main priority should be getting "reelected in the second term," James Riady, CEO of the property-to-banking-to-resources conglomerate Lippo Group, said. "That's good. That means they'll be thinking about how to lift up the economy (and) how to bring wealth to the people of Indonesia." Indonesia will go to the polls to choose its president on July 9.
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Like its emerging market peers, Indonesia has come under pressure from the U.S. Federal Reserve tapering its asset purchases, which has exposed economic weaknesses such as Indonesia's wide current-account deficit.
"Next year will be a challenge," Riady said. "Come next year, we've got the tapering out of the way. Interest rates will go up, the U.S. dollar will strengthen. Countries that rely heavily on U.S. dollar borrowings (and) U.S. dollar imports will get hit," he said.
The country has struggled with slowing growth and declining demand for its resources exports. Economic growth in the first quarter came in at 5.21 percent from a year earlier, below the 5.60 percent forecast in a Reuters poll and slower than the 5.72 percent in the fourth quarter.