Indonesia Economic Forum 2018
Connecting Indonesia: A New Five-Year Agenda

Jakarta November 21 2018: Top political, business, government and civil society leaders gathered at the 5th annual Indonesia Economic Forum to discuss the country’s economic and social agenda for the next five years. The key themes for the Indonesia Economic Forum were focused around grooming talent; infrastructure development; and self-sufficiency in food and energy.More than 350 participants from a cross section of Indonesian society attended the Forum which featured speakers such as Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs; Gita Wirjawan; former Trade Minister and founder of Ancora Group; Prabowo Subianto; founder and chairman of Gerindra Party; Tom Lembong, Chairman of BKPM: and Sandiaga Uno, vice presidential candidate.

The Forum also featured panel discussions on Impact of elections 2019 on the economy: boosting the digital economy; powering Indonesia through renewable energy; education and future jobs; and STEAM education, Future proofing the youth for tomorrow. With growing global economic uncertainty arising from the trade war between the United States and China, the speakers touched on key economic priorities for Indonesia going forward.

In his welcome address, Shoeb Kagda, Founder of the Indonesian Economic Forum said that if Indonesia is to achieve its objective of becoming a top 5 global economy by 2045, it will need to create more growth hubs across the country. These emerging growth hubs however cannot grow in isolation and must be connected to each other. “We live in a era of connectivity,” he said. “Not just in terms of physical connectivity via roads, bridges and airports, but also digital connectivity where human interactions with other humans and machines are being redefined.”

Minister Luhut Pandjaitan noted in his closing remarks that the government of President Joko Widodo had achieved a number of breakthroughs such as infrastructure development; macro-economic stability and reducing poverty. He added that over the next five years, President Jokowi had instructed his government to focus on developing the nation’s human capital. “We have achieved much and it’s not easy to implement programs and manage a country as big as Indonesia,” he noted. “I measure our achievements based on data, not feeling and I always check and verify what people tell me,” he noted.

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto touched on ensuring self-sufficiency in food, energy and water as key components of his economic and social agenda. He added that Indonesia must promote bioenergy to compensate for declining oil production. “My party will adopt the big push strategy,” he said. “We must emulate countries such as China, the US, India and Russia who have all achieved self-sufficiency,” he said. “We must overcome two significant challenges: income inequality and economic mismanagement.”

Both Luhut and Prabowo also touched on how Indonesia must respond to growing global economic and political uncertainty in Asia. Luhut noted that Indonesia will work closely with both powers and the government will continue to attract investments from both countries.
Former Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan in his special address touched on the importance of improving connectivity such as roads and electricity as necessary factors in driving economic growth.
“If Indonesia sticks with the narrative of human capital development and connectivity, it will have a GDP of US$14 trillion by 2045,” he noted.
The Indonesia Economic Forum is a neutral, multi-stakeholder platform that seeks to engage all segments of Indonesia society. Since it’s founding in 2014, the Indonesian Economic Forum has engaged with the government of Indonesia, civil society, the business community, academia and youth organizations. In 2018, the Indonesia Economic Forum also engaged with rising regional economic hubs by hosting forums in Batam, Palembang, Surabaya and Makassar. These forums helped to generate new ideas for economic growth in the regions and acted as a catalyst for change and social progress.
The mission of the Indonesia Economic Forum is to promote economic and social progress for Indonesia.