Indonesia is asking the United States for help in securing an additional $4 billion to $6 billion in international aid to combat the Asian nation's worst financial crisis in 30 years.
Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Indonesia's senior economics minister, said he had discussed with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin a U.S. contribution to a possible package the International Monetary Fund is arranging for Indonesia. Ginandjar would not mention any figures, however."The United States has been very supportive" of Indonesia, Ginandjar said. "Of course, we would like to see it translated into concrete terms. . . . The United States plays a major role in the IMF."
Pressed by reporters to provide specifics, Ginandjar said, "The IMF is coordinating the effort to get the sources together. I was reassured they were developing in the right direction."
Ginandjar said he expected the IMF to release $1 billion more in aid to the country next week and to announce details of the supplementary $4 billion to $6 billion package. Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, already has obtained a $43 billion IMF bailout.
He also said disputed reports from Jakarta that the IMF release of the $1 billion installment was contingent on an ally of Indonesian President B.J. Habibie being elected chairman of the ruling Golkar party.