President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, outlined the Indonesian government’s plan to make the country more productive and competitive on the global stage amid the chaos and unpredictability of the current global market. This was Jokowi’s first speech since re-election.
The overall plan included a shift in focus from infrastructure development towards increasing the quality of workers and talent in Indonesia. However, Jokowi also affirmed that the government will continue developing infrastructure rather than shifting away completely. Existing and already-built infrastructure are also planned to be linked to major economic centres.
“In future, we will continue to do it faster and infrastructure like toll roads, train lines, seaports and airports will be connected to production centres, small industrial estates, and special economic zones and tourism zones. That’s our orientation and we must focus on that,” Jokowi said in his speech titled “Indonesia’s vision”, which was broadcast live by local television stations from Sentul International Convention Centre in Bogor, West Java.
Infrastructure development has been Jokowi’s signature programme since his first-term tenure as president. However, changing the flagship programme to focus on human resource development has been at the forefront of his promises during his re-election campaign.
“We want to put our priority on human resources development. Human resources development will be key to Indonesia’s future,” he said, adding that national talent management bodies will be set up and support for highly talented Indonesian diaspora will be provided.
Some of the major challenges that this new programme will have to overcome include addressing impaired growth, development of the youth, high maternal mortality rate, as well as improvement of education quality. Jokowi also placed great emphasis on job creation and appropriate skill-job matching.
“All obstacles hindering investment, whether slow and complicated licensing processes or illegal fees, will be eliminated. There will be no more obstacles to investment as that would be key to generate as many jobs as possible,” said Jokowi.
Apart from the promised economic reforms, the president said that he is also committed to bureaucratic reforms to improve public services, a campaign platform of his since he first entered politics 15 years ago.
“I will check and control (the process) on my own. If I see inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, I will solve them and fire the officials. If there are useless and troubled institutions, I will certainly dissolve them,” he said.