President Jokowi Encourages Australian Business to Invest in ASEAN
ASEAN various advantages both in terms of geography and demography, make President Joko Jokowi Widodo believed that ASEAN will become a new economic axis of the world.
Therefore, Australia as one of the closest neighbours of ASEAN is expected to take advantage of this opportunity, especially in terms of investment.
This was enunciated by President Jokowi in his speech at CEO Forum, as a series of ASEAN-Australia Special Summit at International Convention Center, Sydney, Australia, Saturday (17/3).
President Jokowi said, Axis of the world economy is shifting from Atlantic to Pacific, because high economic growth is currently in Asia Pacific and ASEAN is right in the middle of it.
The position of ASEAN is in the middle: between India, Central Asia and Middle East in the West; then China, Korea and Japan in the North; Australia and New Zealand in the South, making ASEAN a strategic area.
“But besides that, there is another important thing that is growing in Asia Pacific and ASEAN, namely the middle-class. South East Asia has 630 million of middle class populations” President Jokowi continued.
The growth of digital era does not only affect economic sector. It also affects the changing pattern of consumption in middle-class society in ASEAN. Social media, according to President Jokowi, is one of main factors that have triggered the change.
“I can say that ‘selfie’ is the invention of this century, because ‘selfie’ has changed the world,” said President followed by laughter from the audience.
President Jokowi then gave an example of a natural tourist attraction named Kalibiru located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. At Kalibiru, people are willing to queue for hours just to get the perfect angle to ‘selfie’.
“Middle-class and younger people are currently interested in experience and adventure rather than luxury goods. It certainly has an impact on the increasing of global tourism sector,” said the President.
The president explained, based on data from Bloomberg, although world economic growth is currently at around 3 percent per year, but the global tourism industry grows more than 7 percent per year. This is a tremendous opportunity for ASEAN and Australia.
“Not only become a tourist destination and increase the number of new tourists from Australia, but Australia also has a business opportunity in helping the development of tourism industry in ASEAN,” explained the President.
According to President Jokowi, various projects in ASEAN countries are currently being built to support the soaring of tourism sector starting from renovation and construction of airports, ports, highways, and even super fast trains.
“However, we still need a lot of infrastructure improvements and this is an opportunity for business people in Australia,” said the President.
In addition to the tourism sector, on that occasion, President Jokowi also revealed that financial saving sector is also being spread widely in ASEAN universities. The funds then can be used for business, industry and e-Commerce sectors.
“ASEAN should build a large regional capital market, similar to Euro-dollar markets and European-zone capital markets. And this is also a great opportunity for banks and financial institutions in Australia,” the President added.
President Jokowi hoped ASEAN and Australia could continue to strengthen their relationship, especially in terms of trade, tourism and investment.
“I look forward to welcoming Australia to ASEAN, and Indonesia,” the President concluded.