OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING, WE MUST ANSWER THE CALL
Forbes Indonesia|October 2020
OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING, WE MUST ANSWER THE CALL
Dato’ Sri Prof. Dr Tahir MBA is the founder and chairman of Mayapada Group and the Tahir Foundation. A leading philanthropist, Tahir is the only Indonesian who signed the Giving Pledge.
DATO' SRI PROF. DR TAHIR MBA
Looking forward in the third decade of the 21st Century, Indonesia is undoubtedly entering a period when significant growth in the economy can bring increasing prosperity to a greater proportion of the population and its standing on the world stage would better reflect its position as the world’s 4th most populous country. Already a G20 nation and ranked as the 16th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, 7th if measured by purchasing power parity, all forecasts point to Indonesia’s ranking improving over the next decade. Underpinning this optimism is the country’s demographic dividend which will unfold over this period as a high proportion of today’s young Indonesians enter a workforce already one of the youngest populations by average age amongst developed countries. Whilst the increase in Indonesia’s working and consuming population and their potential impact on the economy is undeniable, it will not be fully realized without an investment in ensuring they are ready educationally and able health-wise to deliver on this promise, ever more so given the global pandemic. Our country lies at a crossroads, in time and due to the economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, and in this perfect storm, Indonesia must decide whether we are ready or not to take the step forward.

Trade tensions, already surfacing pre-COVID 19, have been brought into sharper focus by the economic impact of the pandemic. We are expected to have consecutive quarters of negative growth and while there might be a rebound in the last quarter, we should expect the impact of the slowdown well into 2021. With all these challenges the pandemic has brought, it is now more important than ever that the Government chooses the right areas on which to focus. The impetus on decentralizing global supply chains and reducing the risks of future disruptions are driving several ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, to invest in their agricultural and industrial capacity. The road map followed by Japan, South Korea and China to successfully transform their economies over the past 70 years combines an investment in infrastructure and technology coupled with a significant increase in spending on healthcare and education which collectively led to improvements in productivity and competitiveness on the world stage.

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October 2020