Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu today announced that his government will increase defense spending up to 1.5 percent of the state budget.
"President Jokowi will consistently modernize the defense weapon systems by increasing the military budget to 1.5 percent as part of his program," Ryamizard remarked during an international seminar titled, "Exploring Defense Offset in Indonesia: Expectation, Partnership and Strategy of Engagement" here on Thursday.
According to Antara News, the previous government had allocated Rp83 trillion, or 0.8 percent of the state budget, for the Indonesian military budget. The minister noted that the total current defense budget is not enough to increase the capabilities of the Indonesian defense forces.
Ryamizard pointed out that weapon system development is part of the mandate of the Indonesian regulation. "During the 2010-2014 period, the defense budget was increased up to 400 percent. The increase was triggered by economic development," Ryamizard noted.
The Jokowi government is also laying emphasis on developing defense systems by national companies. Thus, all potential areas can be developed to support the national defense and economy, according to the report.
"Modernization and development of the defense industry should also be accelerated to utilize the local content. We need to have an independent defense system. Thus, we should not depend on foreign defense equipment suppliers," Ryamizard added.