RIP Arifin Siregar: Departure of a dedicated economic figure

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Arifin Siregar contributed much to the nation through the financial and banking sectors. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Former Bank Indonesia Governor and Minister of Trade Arifin Siregar passed away on Monday, September 23 at 18:01 WIB in Medistra Hospi­tal, Jakarta. His remains were bur­ied in San Diego Hills on Tuesday, September 24.

Arifin was born in Medan, North Sumatra on February 11, 1934. After graduating from high school, Arifin left Indonesia to work in the Netherlands, where he studied three years in the Nederlandsche Econo­mische Hogeschool, Rotterdam.

Arifin continued his education at the University of Münster, West Germany in 1956. He finished his Doctoral Degree in economics with Magna Cum Laude honors in 1960.

In 1961, Arifin published a book based on his dissertation titled die Aussenwirtschaft und Wirtschaftli­che Entwiklung Indonesiens or “For­eign Trade and Indonesia’s Econom­ic Development”.

Arifin became well-known after he joined the IMF in 1965. In 1983, Arifin was appointed Bank Indone­sia Governor and served until 1988. His next promotion came when Pres­ident Soeharto appointed him Min­ister of Trade, where he served from 1988-1993.

In 1993, Arifin was made am­bassador to the United States and Grenada.

“I feel this is a loss for Indonesia, as a figure who has helped build the past with solid economic structures. It is a loss for us,” said Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, as quoted by Detik.

“He made many contributions to the social structure, especially in the financial and banking sector of Indonesia in the Soeharto era, from the aspect of building the financial sector, formulating regulations, and then from the policy aspect in the central banking sector,” added the Minister.

Akbar Tanjung, who served as Minister of Public Housing from 1998-1993, stated that Arifin ded­icated much of his life to Indonesia. “He was forever serving, serving for the progress of our nation, especially in the economic and financial sec­tors,” said Akbar, who is also a for­mer Golkar Party Chairman.

Farewell Arifin Siregar. Thank you for all you have done for Indo­nesia. Rest In Peace! (rp)