Indonesia is among the star performers at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, as the focus shifts from economic crisis to sustaining long-term growth. The country’s strong economic growth and high consumption have been particularly impressive.
Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan articulated the country’s growing attractiveness when he said “we are not selling absolutes but directionality,” which has been behind rising foreign direct investment in Indonesia over the past three years. He added that Indonesia is committed to adhering to global trade rules.
Indonesia’s aspiration to rise up the ladder national economies by size is clear, as is the steps the country needs to take to get there.
There is every chance that over the next five to 10 years Indonesia will do better on the social, educational and economic fronts. It is critical for Indonesia to get its message across strongly at international forums such as the WEF given the high profiles of the attendees.
In a competitive global economic environment, having a presence and stating one’s case is needed to ensure that the country’s voice is heard.
Much of the discussion at this year’s WEF has been on how countries can compete by taking a long-term view of growth. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, said in Davos that 2013 is a “make-or-break” year for global economic recovery. So as the economic crises in Europe and the United States recede, growth is back on the agenda.
Countries that offer strong growth will attract greater investment.
But Indonesia may not stand out as much as in the past two years given more countries are now posting strong economic growth. This means that it will need to work harder on other fronts, such as maintaining social harmony and reforming its education system to maintain its competitive edge.