Let’s Turn Economic Challenges into Opportunities, President Jokowi Says
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on ASEAN member countries to ensure their economies remain stable and sustainable amidst economic slowdown in some countries.
“In fact, we have to take advantage of setbacks in several regions as opportunities for us to leap forward,” the President said in his remarks at the opening of the 37th Conference of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations (CAFEO37), at the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran, Jakarta, Wednesday (11/9).
For this reason, according to the President, the solution to the problem is by stimulating innovations and making breakthroughs; thus, ASEAN countries will be able to turn challenges into opportunities to develop faster.
The President went on to say that with a population of around 600 million, ASEAN constitutes world’s economic power, adding that ASEAN has also proven itself as a stable region with explosive economic growth.
However, to grow even bigger, the President reminded, greater synergy is needed and ASEAN countries must help one another, including amongst engineers in all member countries.
“I am pleased that a mutual recognition agreement amongst ASEAN engineers is in place, so ASEAN countries have same competency standards, and mobility of engineers across ASEAN countries will be easier,” the President said, adding that cooperation amongst ASEAN engineers needs to be improved.
Each ASEAN country, according to the President, has its own strengths and the CAFEO can facilitate its members to share experiences and knowledge.
The President added that ASEAN has also succeeded in various fields. referring to ten unicorns from ASEAN, four of which are based in Indonesia namely ride-hailing giant Go-Jek, e-commerce companies Tokopedia and BukaLapak as well as online airline ticketing and hotel booking service company Traveloka, and many other great works of engineers.
The presence of CAFEO, the President continued, provides opportunities for ASEAN engineers to work together.
President Jokowi also expressed hopes that such collaboration will not only be made between engineers but also between engineers and other fields of science. To give birth to new innovations that can boost economic growth, engineers also need other skills, he added.
On that occasion, the President received the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations’ (AFEO) Distinguished Honorary Patron Award conferred by an engineering organization from 10 ASEAN countries that are members of the AFEO.
AFEO Chairperson Heru Dewanto – who is also Chairperson of the Indonesian Engineers Association (PII) – said that the President received the award for his outstanding services and contributions to the engineering profession and engineering sector at home. (RAH/ES)
Translated by: Muhardi
Edited by: M. Ersan Pamungkas