Dialogue between President of the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian Technology Talents during the Inauguration of Sea Labs Indonesia, at Pacific Century Place, SCBD, Jakarta, March 1, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 1 Maret 2022
Category: Dialog @en
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Master of Ceremony

President of the Republic of Indonesia has arrived at the venue and would like to greet four Indonesian technology talents who are currently working overseas. Alright, now we are already connected to our four digital talents, Pak. They are Pak Ainun Najib, hello Pak Ainun Najib, Veni Johanna from the US, Chairni Aulia from the UK, and Rangga from Singapore. Bapak may please have a conversation with our four engineers.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Alright, good morning.

Representatives of Digital Talents (Ainun Najib, Veni, Chairuni, Rangga)

Good morning, Pak. Assalamu’alaikum.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Wa’alaikumsalam. I would like to talk to Veni first. I have read your profile, Veni, and it is very good. You are a Stanford University graduate, aren’t you?

Head of Frameworks Engineering Asana-the US (Veni Johanna)

Yes, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

It is an excellent achievement to be the alumnus of the campus, I think it is good.

Head of Frameworks Engineering Asana-the US (Veni Johanna)

Thank you, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

So, here’s my question. Can we make an ecosystem in Indonesia, so the digital talents will be willing to stay in and be creative for the country?

Head of Frameworks Engineering Asana-the US (Veni Johanna)

I think it is very manageable, Pak. In my opinion, what makes digital [technology] in the US develop is a good synergy between education and technology companies. Cooperation shall be stablished to encourage digital talents from Indonesia.

I think what makes the people tend to stay (in the US) is the productivity and a very good technology culture in the US. Best practices can be established by a lot of people who have studied abroad and bring the work culture to Indonesia upon their return.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

So, what concrete action should be done by the Government?

Head of Frameworks Engineering Asana-the US (Veni Johanna)

First of all, to give incentive to the young talents, so they can do internship in domestic or overseas companies, and to give incentive to the people who are willing to do researches while they are … (inaudible). So, they will have a vision.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Alright, thank you. Next, maybe Chairuni. Chai?

Software Engineer of Google-the UK (Chairuni Aulia Nusapati)

Yes, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

As a software engineer who works overseas, what is the challenge? What is the hardest part? Especially, [working] in Google.

Software Engineer of Google-the UK (Chairuni Aulia Nusapati)

Thank you, Pak. Thank you, Pak Jokowi, for the opportunity. Actually, as part of Indonesian diaspora, we are indeed the minority, Pak. Maybe there are not many Asian women who are working overseas, like me, let alone in Europe. However, as part of Indonesian diaspora, I keep positive thinking, Pak. Luckily, nowadays, we can have access to worldwide information, especially on the internet. From the aspect of information technology, we can just “google it”.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Alright.

Software Engineer of Google-the UK (Chairuni Aulia Nusapati)

Furthermore, the Government and Indonesian diaspora also give their support, so I can adjust myself in daily and working lives. The hardest part is in daily life, Pak, because the way we communicate is a new thing for me. Before I went abroad, I thought English is difficult, but then I realized that what is more difficult is to understand people from different culture with different way of thinking. So, I thought people have different way of thinking, but then I met people who are completely different, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Alright. Thank you, thank you. Chai, thank you.

To Rangga. Rangga? What innovation that has been created and may be well-acknowledged?

Technology Lead SeaMoney-Singapore (Rangga Garmastewira)

(Audio fault)

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Alright, let me talk to Mas Ainun Najib. I have known him long before. Assalamu’alaikum.

Head of Analytics, Platform and Regional Business Grab-Singapore (Ainun Najib)

Wa’alaikumsalam. My condolence on the demise of Pakde Miyono.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Thank you.

I would like to ask you how to make Chai, Veni, Rangga, and including Ainun to come back to Indonesia?

Head of Analytics, Platform and Regional Business Grab-Singapore (Ainun Najib)

There are two keys, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Two keys?

Head of Analytics, Platform and Regional Business Grab-Singapore (Ainun Najib)

Yes, opportunity and stability. On opportunity, Indonesia indeed has a lot of opportunity as one of the biggest players ranked third for world’s biggest market, in South East Asia. Stability may be a little bit tricky. Some people take considerations of family, career, and personally, I take my children’s education as a consideration. I also want my children to study abroad, the same as your sons who studied in Singapore … (audio fault).

Meanwhile, we as part of Indonesian diaspora actually play significant roles, Pak, although we are far away. I think there are three roles. First, as an inspiration and reference. So, we become the benchmark for our Indonesian friends, especially the younger ones, the younger talents. Second, advocating. So, we can give advices from far away for our Indonesian friends. There it is, Pak, execution. Execution can be done even from far away, Pak. Many times, we also do activities initiated together by Indonesian diaspora, for example, to give guidance which is done by Indonesian diaspora who love their country.

Yes, I am very optimistic, Pak, that Indonesia is meant to be the country of high technology talents, at least at the fourth place in the world, because Indonesia is the fourth big nation in the world. China is at the first place, clearly it is one of Artificial Intelligence (AI) superpowers. India clearly has the capability, and even the Indian diaspora become the highest leaders in global technology companies. The US is clearly the pioneer and maybe the most advanced until today. So, the fourth place is maybe occupied by Indonesia because our nation is (inaudible) … . I think it is just a matter of time. What should be done by Mas Minister Nadiem with “Freedom in Learning” (Merdeka Belajar) can be continued in the long run. For example, Vietnam started digital investment since the 60s, Pak, with gifted schools. Gifted Schools are schools for genius children which are available in every province in Vietnam.

In Indonesia, I do not even know if schools of the genius exist. I know that the school of the best talents in military and the school of the best talents exist, but there is no school of the genius at the moment. So, Vietnam has already established such school since 60s. This is maybe why Vietnam is above Indonesia at the level of South East Asia, although our population is twice as larger as that of Vietnam. So, hopefully Indonesia can accelerate more to take over the position, not only to be one step ahead of Vietnam, but to claim the position that is meant to be for Indonesia, which is the fourth place in the world, insya Allah.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Yes. In 2030, Indonesia digital potential is estimated to reach Rp4,531 trillion. It is really huge, so huge, and I think the estimation will be quite close.

So, I hope that all talents will come home. Please come home, now, we already have many opportunities and big companies here. That is all. Thank you all, enjoy your work. Thank you, thank you. (AW/MUR)

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