President Jokowi Opens 18th Muhammadiyah Youth Congress
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Wednesday (02/22) officially opened the 18th Muhammadiyah Youth Congress, Wednesday (02/22), at the Balikpapan Sport and Convention Center, Balikpapan city, East Kalimantan province. In his remarks, the President expressed hope that the Congress will make big steps as well as design a big agenda.
“First, since Muhammadiyah is well-known, a big brand, it is a pioneer of Islamic reforms in Indonesia. Second, youth population at the moment is growing larger,” the President said.
The President went on to say that Indonesia’s current demographic structure is dominated by younger generation.
In 2023, the total population is expected to reach 280 million, including 66.3 million young people aged 15 to 30 years. The demographic bonus will be crucial for the country to jump forward to become an equitable, prosperous, and advanced country.
“If we do not manage this demographic bonus properly, it will burden us all. Therefore, the development of human resources is essential,” he said.
On that occasion, the President cited an example of several Asian countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, which could transform into developed countries, while several developing countries in the Latin American region have not transformed yet since 1950-1960.
According to him, the success of South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan was achieved due to product innovations that made other countries dependent on them.
“South Korea has digital components that all countries and companies need. Taiwan produces chips that all countries and all large companies need and dependent on,” he added.
The Head of State also underscored that Indonesia must also produce goods that make other countries dependent on, for example, producing batteries for electric vehicles (EV). The country has a great potential to be a producer of electric vehicles.
“We have nickel, copper, tin, and bauxite. Indonesia is home to all materials crucial for producing electric vehicle batteries,” he said, while stressing that other developing countries have not taken such steps even though they have a lot of natural resources.
“Several countries in Latin America will remain developing countries regardless of many natural resources they have since they do not make the most of the resources. We do not expect that. We are now a developing country, but having the desire to become a developed country is mandatory. One way or another. We have to,” he said.
The President also pointed out that Indonesia’s natural resources such as nickel in Sulawesi, copper in Sumbawa and Papua, tin in Bangka Belitung, and bauxite in West Kalimantan and Riau Islands can be integrated into EV batteries.
On that occasion, President Jokowi also expressed belief that Indonesia can build a bigger ecosystem for the production of electric vehicles.
“We can integrate raw material sources into EV batteries and even build a bigger ecosystem, manufacture electric vehicles that will multiply the country’s added value,” he remarked. (FID/AIT/SND) (RIF/MMB)