Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesia’s former Trade Minister, has been reassigned in the recent cabinet reshuffle to the new post of Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy.
The new posting effectively replaces the role played by outgoing Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, who has been reassigned to the job of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister.
In making the announcement, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the responsibilities of both culture and tourism were “very wide” and under the new ministerial scheme the responsibility for safeguarding national culture will be “returned” to the National Ministry of Education.
Jero Wacik, in his new capacity as the Minister for Energy and Mineral Resource, will work closely with state-owned enterprises involved in the energy fields, including the state oil company Pertamina.
In naming the new tourism boss, President Yudhoyono said Pangestu was well equipped to lead Indonesia to greater economic progress based on the nation’s creative enterprises. The president said he sees a huge untapped economic potential in exports generated by the nation’s handicraft industries.
Yudhoyono also emphasized that tourism and the creative economic sector enjoy a close synergy capable of being mutually supportive. Continuing, the Indonesian President asked if anyone could imagine taking a holiday in Bali without buying small gifts and souvenirs made by handicraft producers?
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