Exclusive Content - 11 December 2017

Shaping the future

What will the world be like in 2045? In 28 years, Indonesia will celebrate its 100th year of independence. What kind of country will we have? At this year’s Indonesia Economic Forum, we we had a number of dialogue sessions on the Growth Sectors of the Future where we focused on infrastructure, fintech, EdTech and how we can enhance our startup ecosystem.

The takeaway from all the discussions was that Indonesia is a nation of great promise. By almost all economic projections, by 2045, the country will be among the top 5 economies in the world in purchasing power terms. But what will this actually mean for Indonesians?

To answer that question we need to take a step back. In the past two decades since the 1998 financial and political crisis, Indonesia has emerged as a stable democracy, its economy has been on a sustained growth path, the country has pulled more than 100 million of citizens out of poverty. Indeed the fast growing middle class is Indonesia's most praise worthy achievement of the past 15 years.

The country, however, now stands at an inflection point. Economic growth and success have come with a price; traffic congestion; rising pollution; urban crawl; infrastructure bottlenecks. Our population may be wealthier but is it healthier? As our population continues to grow, will the country be able to feed its citizens?

So the question for us is can Indonesia overcome these challenges over the next three decades? As Pak Tom Lembong, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board notes, will we be a more just nation where all Indonesians will have equal access to opportunity in 2045?

The answer depends on the policies and actions we take in the next three decades. Mathematically, Indonesia will have the fiscal space to boost its hard infrastructure with US$1.3 trillion available as well as the ability to 50 million students for tertiary education, said Gita Wirjawan in his opening keynote address.

Today's fast paced technological change means that we cannot afford to lag behind other nations. The data revolution means that our past economic growth models will have to be revamped and updated. We must adopt artificial intelligence in our industries as well as in our society so we can be relevant in the 21st century. The 4th Industrial Revolution will have a great impact on human society whether we like it or not. Already we see that self-driving cars are being developed; new clean energy will power our economies in the future; robots will be prevalent on the factory floor as well as in our homes.

Such rapid change will also mean great upheaval in our society. If we allow it to happen the gap between the wealthy and the poor will widen; leading to social and political unrest as we have already witnessed in many countries around the world. The only way to prevent such social upheaval is by ensuring that all Indonesians have access to quality education; to capital; to information and to quality healthcare.

So what kind of nation will we have in 2045? To answer that question we must start the conversation today so we can plan, take the necessary action from now. If we can imagine our future, we can work towards it. Indonesia is a land of opportunity but we still need to work hard to realize that opportunity.

At the Indonesia Economic Forum, we believe in co-creation. No individual, company or industry can go it alone. The government alone cannot solve all our problems and challenges. We must therefore work together - business, government and civil society to co-create the future.

That is why this year, the Indonesia Economic Forum is launching three initiatives that we hope will not only inspire our youth but also empower them. These initiatives have been developed by working closely with our partners such as Campaign.com for DareToDream; Sari Kusumaningrum and Peak Indonesia for Future Leaders Under 40 and Nalin Singh for Get Funded Now.

These are exciting times for Indonesia. We have a unique opportunity to shape our future. A future with liveable cities; greater mobility; a healthy and informed population and most importantly an equitable society.

We were honored and grateful for the presence of Budi Karya Sumadi, the Minister of Transportation as our guest of honor to grace the forum this year. We would also like to thank Ilham Habibie, a member of the IEF advisory board for his contribution and all the other speakers who shared their insights, knowledge and wisdom with the participants.

I would also like to thank our partners HSBC Indonesia, AKR Corporindo, Extramarks, Monash University, Bank BRI, E2E, Cognito Communications, Binus University and all others who helped to co-create the 4th Indonesia Economic Forum.

What will the world be like in 2045? In 28 years, Indonesia will celebrate its 100th year of independence. What kind of country will we have? At this year’s Indonesia Economic Forum, we we had a number of dialogue sessions on the Growth Sectors of the Future where we focused on infrastructure, fintech, EdTech and how we can enhance our startup ecosystem.

The takeaway from all the discussions was that Indonesia is a nation of great promise. By almost all economic projections, by 2045, the country will be among the top 5 economies in the world in purchasing power terms. But what will this actually mean for Indonesians?

To answer that question we need to take a step back. In the past two decades since the 1998 financial and political crisis, Indonesia has emerged as a stable democracy, its economy has been on a sustained growth path, the country has pulled more than 100 million of citizens out of poverty. Indeed the fast growing middle class is Indonesia's most praise worthy achievement of the past 15 years.

The country, however, now stands at an inflection point. Economic growth and success have come with a price; traffic congestion; rising pollution; urban crawl; infrastructure bottlenecks. Our population may be wealthier but is it healthier? As our population continues to grow, will the country be able to feed its citizens?

So the question for us is can Indonesia overcome these challenges over the next three decades? As Pak Tom Lembong, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board notes, will we be a more just nation where all Indonesians will have equal access to opportunity in 2045?

The answer depends on the policies and actions we take in the next three decades. Mathematically, Indonesia will have the fiscal space to boost its hard infrastructure with US$1.3 trillion available as well as the ability to 50 million students for tertiary education, said Gita Wirjawan in his opening keynote address.

Today's fast paced technological change means that we cannot afford to lag behind other nations. The data revolution means that our past economic growth models will have to be revamped and updated. We must adopt artificial intelligence in our industries as well as in our society so we can be relevant in the 21st century. The 4th Industrial Revolution will have a great impact on human society whether we like it or not. Already we see that self-driving cars are being developed; new clean energy will power our economies in the future; robots will be prevalent on the factory floor as well as in our homes.

Such rapid change will also mean great upheaval in our society. If we allow it to happen the gap between the wealthy and the poor will widen; leading to social and political unrest as we have already witnessed in many countries around the world. The only way to prevent such social upheaval is by ensuring that all Indonesians have access to quality education; to capital; to information and to quality healthcare.

So what kind of nation will we have in 2045? To answer that question we must start the conversation today so we can plan, take the necessary action from now. If we can imagine our future, we can work towards it. Indonesia is a land of opportunity but we still need to work hard to realize that opportunity.

At the Indonesia Economic Forum, we believe in co-creation. No individual, company or industry can go it alone. The government alone cannot solve all our problems and challenges. We must therefore work together - business, government and civil society to co-create the future.

That is why this year, the Indonesia Economic Forum is launching three initiatives that we hope will not only inspire our youth but also empower them. These initiatives have been developed by working closely with our partners such as Campaign.com for DareToDream; Sari Kusumaningrum and Peak Indonesia for Future Leaders Under 40 and Nalin Singh for Get Funded Now.

These are exciting times for Indonesia. We have a unique opportunity to shape our future. A future with liveable cities; greater mobility; a healthy and informed population and most importantly an equitable society.

We were honored and grateful for the presence of Budi Karya Sumadi, the Minister of Transportation as our guest of honor to grace the forum this year. We would also like to thank Ilham Habibie, a member of the IEF advisory board for his contribution and all the other speakers who shared their insights, knowledge and wisdom with the participants.

I would also like to thank our partners HSBC Indonesia, AKR Corporindo, Extramarks, Monash University, Bank BRI, E2E, Cognito Communications, Binus University and all others who helped to co-create the 4th Indonesia Economic Forum.

 

By Shoeb Kagda

Founder Indonesia Economic Forum