Australia has agreed to lend $1.5billion to Indonesia to support an international COVID-19 response program.
The loan, to be paid back over the next 15 years, will be used to support Indonesia’s budget financing for 2020 and beyond.
The development will be welcome news to Bali locals, whose tourism numbers are currently at an all time low.
The agreement between Australia and Indonesia recognises the strategic partnership between the two countries, while also supporting the Asian Development Bank-led COVID-19 response and expenditure support program.
Life in Indonesia (pictured above) will never be the same for some due to the global pandemic
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured above) believes Indonesia’s recovery and ongoing prosperity is critical to the stability and security of the region
In a joint statement, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said COVID-19 was posing an unprecedented challenge to the Indo-Pacific and the world.
‘Both our nations have been affected by this extraordinary crisis as containment measures and uncertainty have depressed global economic activity and international trade,’ they said.
‘The provision of the Australian Government loan to Indonesia reflects the extraordinary times which we all must face together and is in recognition of Indonesia’s record of sound fiscal management which has allowed the government to respond to COVID-19 health crisis.
‘Indonesia’s recovery and ongoing prosperity is also critical to the stability and security of the region.’
As of Friday, November 13, 452,291 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Indonesia, with almost 15,000 deaths.
Bali in particular is reeling, with some tourist hotspots resembling a ghost town.
The holiday province has been severely hampered by a lack of tourist dollars being poured into the economy.
Empty hotels and desolate beaches have become the new normal, with the number of Australian tourists plummeting to zero after the borders were closed in April.
According to the West Australian, Indonesia’s government predicts the loss of international tourism will leave a $14billion hole in its projected 2020 income.
Major tourism spots in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali (pictured above) have been crippled by the global pandemic
Healthcare workers (pictured above) have been constant in Indonesia as the region battles Covid-19