Shap­ing the Fu­ture of In­done­sia

Indonesia Expat - - CONTENTS - BY SHOEB KAGDA

What will the world be like in 2045? In­done­sia will cel­e­brate its 100th year of in­de­pen­dence, but what kind of coun­try will it be?

In­done­sia is a na­tion of great prom­ise, and by al­most all eco­nomic pro­jec­tions, by 2045, the coun­try will be among the top five 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.

Since the 1998 fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal cri­sis, In­done­sia has emerged as a sta­ble democ­racy. Its econ­omy has been on a sus­tained growth path and the coun­try has pulled more than 100 mil­lion cit­i­zens out of poverty. In­deed, the fast-grow­ing mid­dle class is In­done­sia's most praise­wor­thy achieve­ment of the past 15 years.

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

So the ques­tion is, can In­done­sia over­come th­ese chal­lenges over the next three decades? As Pak Tom Lem­bong, Chair­man of the In­done­sia In­vest­ment Co­or­di­nat­ing Board asks, 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 send 50 mil­lion stu­dents for ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

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 fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion will have a great im­pact on human so­ci­ety whether we like it or not. Al­ready we see that self­driv­ing 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.

To­day’s fast-paced tech­no­log­i­cal change means that we can­not af­ford to lag behind other na­tions.

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. So what kind of na­tion will In­done­sia be in 2045? To an­swer that ques­tion we must start the con­ver­sa­tion to­day, so we can plan and take the nec­es­sary ac­tion start­ing 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 re­alise that op­por­tu­nity.

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 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 liv­able ci­ties, greater mo­bil­ity, a healthy and in­formed pop­u­la­tion, and most im­por­tantly an eq­ui­table so­ci­ety.

COUR­TESY OF FI­NAN­CIAL TRI­BUNE

COUR­TESY OF FI­NAN­CIAL TRI­BUNE

COUR­TESY OF FI­NAN­CIAL TRI­BUNE

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