I am fine :)
Indonesia : A Virgin in the World Economy
Never before I thought that there would be a time when I can be a part of an event I would always remember all my life. The whole event does not only give many new lessons for me, but also open my paradigm and perspective toward the world that will be faced by Indonesia’s young generation in the future.
In my previous writing, I wrote a lot about my optimism toward Indonesia’s future glory. The point of view of a Marketing student, who is enthusiastic with Indonesia’s golden opportunity, has seen a strong economic stability these past few years. The power of emerging middle market with its consumptive behavior has injected some kind of spirit to every economic aspects. Optimism is being built due to the awareness of an emerging, independent group of people forcing this country to make its way up, along with their own desire to have a better, prosperous life. Hopes, passion, dreams, shown by these people who comprise 60% of Indonesia’s population, have given us a promising insight that we are currently on the right track, leading to our glory.
In fact, the illusion is not merely an imagination. Many panelists from APEC CEO Summit’s plenary confirmed this middle-class phenomenon with an optimist view. World Bank’s prediction stated that Indonesia will be one of “The Big Six” countries with the biggest economy in 2030, together with China, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Korea, with an average growth of 4.8%. Meanwhile, developed countries like US, Japan, and other European countries are predicted to experience slower growth with an average 2.1% growth. This prediction is further strengthened by 2012 McKinsey’s observation “The Archipelago Economy: Unleashing Indonesia’s Potential” stating that in 2030, Indonesia will be the 7th world’s biggest economy, with 135 million of its highly consumptive people, 113 million needs of skilled workers and there will be 71% of urban citizens who contribute to 86% of GDP. Thus, what is the relationship between Indonesia’s role in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the needs of ABAC’s members in every policy taken by twenty-one country’s leaders involved?
Previously, like every typical Indonesian youth, I did not really understand what actually APEC CEO Summit is, or what commonly know as KTT APEC. Furthermore, I was confused with the name ABAC and the difference between APEC and ABAC.
As I followed the process of 4th ABAC meeting and APEC CEO Summit on October 1-7, 2013, I got the clear picture that answers my questions.
APEC, short of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, is cooperation activities conducted by economies in Asia Pacific region. This cooperation is a form of support to ease and smoothen the economic development, as an act to handle the rise of globalization. There are 21 countries or economic leaders joining as APEC members. Each of the economy gathers and discusses economic cooperation policy that needs to be taken to best serve the needs of all the APEC members.
Meanwhile, ABAC, short of APEC Business Advisory Council, is a union formed by APEC consisting of 3 economy’s private sector actors, appointed by each country’s APEC leader himself. This formation is an implication of APEC leader’s or government’s concern that the economic regional cooperation policy taken by 21 countries can generally influence the private sector.
Shortly, APEC consists of governments from 21 Asia Pacific countries, while ABAC is private sector consisting of 63 members who are the most influenced implementor and executor from APEC’s policy. This is why their voice, the identification of the issues they bring, and the recommendations they give are very important for APEC. ABAC gives a real view of economic condition so the relationship between these two major groups, APEC and ABAC, are both strong and influencing each other.
My short journey has given me a new paradigm. In every activity from 4th ABAC Meeting, activity with APEC Voice of Future (130 young delegation from every APEC countries), APEC SMMEE Summit, to the final event which is APEC CEO Summit, there are so many new knowledge and lessons I gained. My eyes are opened that the role of young generation is very much important and I came to know what Indonesian youth have to do in facing economic trend and other future issues.
I learned that globalization issue is a maturity process to the developing countries and it is inevitable, considering the advancement of technology and communication that has made borders irrelevant in the whole world.
Connectivity and regional economic integration issue that have been discussed many times along the APEC CEO Summit gave a mixed feeling, at least for me. Free trade policy between countries like AFTA, CAFTA, RSCP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), is the issue that we certainly have to face. Whether those policies will be an opportunity or a threat depends on our preparedness as Indonesia’s young generation that will be the major players in the future. The same probability applies to other countries as well. It is our obligation now to prepare and change the free trade access to be a great opportunity for Indonesia.
Indonesia, in my opinion, is a virgin. The market is exotic, the beautiful culture can be competitive differentiation compared to other countries’, yet Indonesia is still fragile when it comes to matters related to government, infrastructure and import-export trading. Indonesia is a virgin, because foreign investors are struggling to catch its market. That is why mature preparedness is very much necessary for Indonesia’s economic actors, especially the young generation that is just about to enter the global economy
1) Stop blaming government or any other parties. Try as hard as possible to be a capable youth who can face free trade in the future. We should just focus on our main strengths instead of trying to pursue many skills or fields. Global value chain is the most effective way for us to follow the flow of competitive global trade.
2) We desperately need to change our mindset. Do not only work for money. Change our mindset that only willing to compete for certain jobs like doctor or government worker (PNS), simply because the jobs will guarantee our financial security. The conservative mindset is what makes us left out. Indonesian youth has to be creative, innovative, and has to follow their passion to maximize performance and productivity.
3) Improve entrepreneurship and creative industry. One of Indonesia’s weakness is that we are still very much dependent to the export of raw materials, while this industry is the one that is not sustainable in the future. I am impressed to see how the government and citizen of South Korea can develop and is dependent to the creative industry sector as the country’s competitive advantage. However, the creative industry is purely the result of producing an idea from a nothingness. It does not need natural resources and it does not exploit the unrenewable resources. I am sure that Indonesia is capable of finding its own competitive advantage in creative industry. As the time goes, Indonesian youth is getting more creative and is capable in producing quality works, like international movies, artworks, etc. Young people are agent of change and I am optimistic with them. We can see from recent years that there are so many Indonesian youth initiating small movements to contribute and make impacts, all to the direction of Indonesia’s greater good.
4) Be confident. According to Ibu Sri Mulyani, one of the best Indonesia’s woman economist that currently works as diaspore in World Bank, Indonesia is actually competitive compared to other countries. Our weakness is that we are often not confident, shy, and afraid in speaking foreign languages and we do not have the courage to leave our comfort zone. If this problem is not solved, then it will always be difficult for us to win and face the later free trade and global economic issue.
5) I will not stop reminding all of us to keep maintaining, preserving our nation’s character and identity for a clear personal branding and differentiation. Globalization is not a reason for us to let go our identity and character. When we lose our identity and character and act like the generation in other countries instead, then we are just the same with them.
Until now I am still very grateful for being given the opportunity to experience this 9-days journey full of knowledge with the other 4 finalists and also ABAC youth. There are so many things that I got, so many new knowledges I learned. I discovered new interest toward politics that was never been my interest once. I am now aware of the political world. I also learn, from my journey with 130 APEC Voices delegation to the green school, that no matter what happens, it is the best thing happening to us. Whoever comes must be the best people we meet and whenever we are ready is the best moment for us. After the momentum of APEC CEO Summit 2013, I wish that Indonesia is no longer absorbing the global world, but on the other hand, we have to globalize Indonesia. Mari kita mengIndonesiakan dunia! Thank you new family, ABAC youth.
This writing officially created for ABAC phase 2 final writing competition.
PS: Special thanks to @caca_RN who has been a brainstorming mate for hours.
I didn’t even want to start this with the sweet greetings, dear you. Because at the very first time this cheesy idea popped into my head, I felt pathetic with my self. Like, that you are, a virus, to me. But once again, I don’t care.
Dear you who I recently knew,
You don’t have any idea how interesting you are at the very first time we met. Since I had to stayed in the same mediocre square room -without any entertainment offered and bunch of stiff people that no one I could made joke with- for quite long moment while there was nothing to do. It was a kinda boring-like-hell and made me frustrated along day.
Suddenly you appeared, with that kid look, out of nowhere, walked beside me. Me that had planned to go to praying room and would stayed there for a while till maybe I could continuing took a nap over somewhere.
You asked me to did prayed together with your sincere eyes. Although I might have hundred reasons to denied since you were a stranger to me, I nodded my head and agreed to follow your led.
You had known these stories. You had known the way I felt. The moment when we finally introduced our selves, shared our little stories about me and you and the situation that drove us end up encountered.
Both of us often laughed together when had back thought that silly moment when we were still too awkward each other.
You changed your image one day. The day when you patiently waited for me were practiced some dancing until late night, for hours. You showed me your true self, that you were not only a kid-look man with interesting mind, but also interesting life.
You asked me, how could I know your bad things? It is that night. When you decided to left me behind with the rest friends of mine. I knew there, that you might had another hidden stories, and you would felt embarrassed with it. Some feelings. Signs. Whatever, I don’t care about that. It just made me more and more curious about you.
Since that night, we got along. You brought me new things, you made me experienced new things, you surprised me with new things I don’t expected before.
You told me your stories. Little by little, day by day. Both of good and bad.
I knew you are not kind of person that my mom wants I made friends with. And sorry I couldn’t hide your overall image when I described you in front of mom’s X-ray eyes. But still, I am interested with you.
Mama said I had to find a straight-right guy who could lead me back to right way, since she always thought that I am the most miserable and deviate kid of her, compared to my religious brother and innocent little sister.
But I don’t know, sometimes I really want to be that straight-right person who could lead someone back to right way. I don’t want to be the most miserable one all the time. I wanna be the silent guardian. The reason of someone become a better person.
I want to help you. Bring you out of your dark past.
Okay, I will stop being like a disgusting angel wannabe. I also want you to know that I am not that nice, like you thought all the time. Yes, I admit your past really dark in that way, but also I have dark past in my own way.
You’re better than me by the way. You boldly confessed your bad, while in other hand, me, still hiding behind cowardice.
I am scared of my self. I hated my self by things that made me feel not confident toward several guys who tried to get closer to me this last 3 years of being alone.
I turned to be an introvert, I don’t know since when.
Well actually for entire my life, that’s why I never brought my boys to the house. I don’t want they met my parents. I don’t want to open my deepest quiet yet miserable life. Yes, I’ve build boundaries. My self becomes too closed from surroundings people, because childhood traumatic and wrath and inability to accept change of life patterns.
It is too much and too complicated to you to understand, I know, but this is me, a nice girl -you thought- who gave up her fate, and also sinned in her own way.
So, now, will you accept mine like the way I accept yours. Shall we back to right path and help each other. Can you, one more time, wait for me. To finally -for the first time since last 3 or more years passed- ready to open my life to somebody else. Only little by little. When I can totally trust you. Also my self, at the last.
Thank you for told me your stories.
Me who want to tell you everything.
P.S: I am still waiting your new sound cloud. I love it.
P.P.S: I love when you wore a cap on the last day we met too.