In Time of Global Economic Crisis, Indonesia is Still Attractive




The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, today (13/01) has organized a working lunch with more than 20 journalists from various Italian leading mass media.  The event, Meet the Press, is an annual event to have a face to face encounter with the forefront actors of people-to-people contact.
The main idea of this event is to share information regarding Indonesia in the past year of 2013, such as economic progress, political stability, social and cultural, as well as other achievements. All invited journalists are welcome to raise question on bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Italy.
On the opening presentation, the Ambassador of Indonesia explained the Indonesia Macro Economic Indicators which is showing a slight decline due to global crisis. In 2013, GDP Growth is approximately 5.6% on September 2013, while GDP of 2013 is US$ 946.321 million.
Indonesian GDP per capita in 2013 is approximately US$3,816.68. Total Italy investment in Indonesia in 2013 is US$ 35.3 million in 31 projects.On the political sector, Indonesia has maintained her political stability throughout 2013. Underlying Indonesia’s vibrant economy is political stability. 
A decade ago, many analysts envisaged that certain break-away provinces would bring about Indonesia’s “balkanization”. In 2001, Indonesia embarked on an ambitious and challenging decentralization effort. 
While it has been challenging journey, today Indonesia is one of the most decentralized countries in the world with substantial funds and authorities devolved to the regions.
This coming April Indonesia will hold general election. It will be the third direct presidential election in Indonesia, and the elected president will have the job for the time period up to five years. Based on the Constitution, the current President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono could not seek a third term on office.

Although overall Indonesia has a good profile, there are several challenges Indonesia has to overcome in the near future.
The First Challenges are to maintain stability during election times, to manage inflation, pressure on State budget (exchange rate, subsidies in oil & electricity), to built more infrastructure for connectivity, to increase education & health facilities, to increase income from taxes.
While the second challenges are global recession, potential escalation from rivalries among countries in the region, and thread from transnational crime (terrorism and drugs).
During the question and answer, most journalists highlighted the tourism and agricultural sector. In tourism, Indonesia has done many efforts to boost number of visitor, by building and developing infrastructures and creating specific themed vacation such as adventure, spa, shopping, or even eco-tourism to attract more tourists.
In term of agricultural sector, Indonesia’s top 3 exports to Italy are palm oil, coffee, and cacao. Indonesia also actively joins many specific expos for instance Eurochocolate and Trieste Espresso Expo.
This forum has also sparked an idea in order to hold these meetings twice a year so that the journalists remain updated on the development of Indonesia and Indonesia's image still remain resonates in the mass media. The second meeting of 2014 is proposed to be held on the last week of June 2014 before the summer holidays begin. (Source: Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia)