JAKARTA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday called on related state institutions to intensify measures aimed at improving consumer protection.
Presiding over a special cabinet meeting to discuss consumer protection drive in the country, the president said that lack of knowledge over products have rampantly cost consumers in the country, which sometimes even jeopardized their lives.
"Among those cases were credit card fraud in e-commerce transactions, expired food and medicine, fake medicine, malpractice in medical treatment and transportation safety," the president said.
To resolve the issue, the president pointed out the need to educate more consumers to assure that their rights is well-addressed and protected, which would also eventually spur the nation's economy.
The president said consumer education would be an essential measure to make Indonesian consumers smarter and wiser to spend their money on products they intend to buy.
The measure is considered urgent as Indonesia records considerably low Consumer Trust Index of 30.86 percent compared to that of in Europe countries that have reached 51.31 percent.
"It suggests that Indonesian consumers were still at a low level of knowing the product, not scrutinizing the products like in Europe," he added.
Another indicator showing Indonesian consumers'lack of product knowledge was in the complaint rate. The president said that Indonesian consumers recorded low complaint rate of 4.1 per 1 million population, far lower than in South Korea which records 64.
Public consumption has contributed around 55.94 percent to Indonesia's GDP in the last five years, implying that the largest economy in Southeast Asia region is largely propelled by consumption sector.