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Thursday, 24 August, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Indonesia's new economy minister announces priorities

Indonesia's new minister for the economy, Rizal Ramli has been outlining his proposals to tackle the country's economic problems -- following President Wahid's reshuffling of his cabinet.

Mr Ramli said he wanted to create more jobs in rural areas, and launch initiatives to attract foreign capital.

Speaking in a BBC interview, Mr Ramli also talked of providing loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.

He said he was due to meet representatives of the Central Bank and the IMF to, as he put it, "accelerate the process of cooperation".

Indonesia's currency, the rupiah, slumped on the announcement of the new cabinet on Wednesday. The country's major parties, the PDI-P and Golkar, were marginalised in the reshuffle, with critics accusing the president of choosing members for their loyalty, not their ability to confront economic problems.

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