Antara, the national news agency, quoted Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika as complaining that tourism, the backbone of the island's economy, is highly sensitive to rumors and innuendo, particularly in the areas of health and terrorism.
Said Pastika: "Every effort has been made by the provincial government to restore the local economy. What's needed now is to get the real economy rolling through investment and trade."
The governor was speaking during the opening of a National Coordination Meeting on Ways to Control Provincial Inflation held in Kuta.
While enumerating economic measures implemented by his administration, Pastika spoke of the support extended to small and medium-sized enterprises, the creation of new employment opportunities and steps to improve the climate for investment. "We have also guaranteed the availability of facilities for production and marketing of local products, established an international standard of security and safety, and moved to increase the per capita income of the general public," added the governor.
To Bali's credit, Pastika pointed out that Bali had managed to largely escape the effects of the worldwide economic crisis that began in mid-2008. "Bali managed to face down the global financial crisis. One indication of this was a rate of economic growth for the island that was higher than the national inflation rate, " he said, while adding that since March 2009, the rate of inflation in Bali has surpassed the national rates of inflation.
For March 2010 (year-on-year) Bali's inflation rate reached 3.64% which is higher than the corresponding nation-wide inflation rate of 3.43% for the same period.
Continuing his analysis, Pastika said, "the inflation rate keeps apace with the rate of economic growth for Bali. In 2009 the rate of growth in Bali was 5.33%, higher than the national average growth rate of 4.5%."
Bali's somewhat higher rates of inflation, according to the governor, are not divorced from the island's success in the tourism sector. High visitor levels result in higher demand for food commodities.
To meet the high level of demands, Bali is dependent on supply lines from outside that form an essential business connection with the outside world.
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