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Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Arsjad Rasjid: Indonesia Invents a New Era of Business in ASEAN

Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Arsjad Rasjid stated that Indonesia has succeeded in creating a new era of business in Southeast Asian countries.

Indonesia, in its capacity as Chair of ASEAN-BAC in 2023, has created a solid foundation to seamlessly integrate business actors with positive contributions to enhance economic development in the region.

"We have laid a solid foundation to make it easier for business actors to develop business, create a stable and peaceful region, uphold international law and human values in ASEAN. This is an important guide for business actors in carrying out their roles," said Arsjad at the opening of the 2023 ASEAN Business Summit Week at the State Palace, Jakarta, Friday (01/09/2023).

The event, which was opened by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), was attended by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Investment and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board Bahlil Lahadalia, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, as well as business actors from ASEAN countries. A total of 172 Indonesian and ASEAN business delegates were also in attendance.

President Jokowi said ASEAN had proven itself to be peaceful and stable, and a region that has created its own prosperity.

President Jokowi also revealed that ASEAN economic growth in 2024 is expected to be the highest in the world, reaching 4.5% year-on-year (YoY). ASEAN is also the most attractive region for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2022 with 17% of FDI entering ASEAN. "This is ASEAN's big capital, to achieve the goal of becoming the epicenter of growth," said President Jokowi.

With this in mind, said President Jokowi, ASEAN needs an extraordinary tactical strategy. The strategy need not be grandeur, but must have extraordinary tactics, meaning that more solid collaboration is needed.

“It cannot be done individually, whether it is between countries, between entrepreneurs and also between communities. Therefore, I hope that ASEAN-BAC will play a bigger role in the formulation and implementation of cross-stakeholder tactical collaboration strategies," said President Jokowi.

At this event, Arsjad handed the document regarding the ASEAN Business Roadmap Towards Epicentrum of Growth as a roadmap towards "ASEAN 2045" over to President Jokowi.
As Chair of ASEAN-BAC in 2023, Arsjad emphasizes that Indonesia is addressing five priority issues. This includes digital transformation, sustainable development, health resilience, food security, as well as facilitating trade and Prioritized investment (trade & investment) to increase the strategic role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in ASEAN member countries.

Arsjad, who is also the General Chair of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said that in accordance with the theme "ASEAN Centrality: Innovating Greater towards Inclusivity," ASEAN-BAC is determined to make ASEAN the most attractive investment and trade destination in the world.

“We have carried out in-depth studies and roadshows to get support from partner countries, such as China, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea. ASEAN-BAC is very focused on centrality, innovation and inclusiveness, which originate from the fundamental values of 5P, namely People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership," explained Arsjad.

In the discussion, five priority issues were developed into eight legacy projects. These projects consist of the ASEAN QR Code, Marketplace Lending Platform, Wiki Entrepreneur, ASEAN Net Zero Hub, Carbon Center of Excellence, ASEAN One Shot Campaign, Inclusive Closed-Loop Model for Agricultural Products, and ASEAN Business Entities.

"I am optimistic that these eight legacy projects will have a significant impact on creating a new era of doing business in the region. This will also be one of the topics of discussion between business actors and heads of government," said Arsjad.

Business Forum

During this event, Arsjad also explained the ASEAN Weekend Market, occurring from 1-3 September 2023. During this event, ASEAN-BAC will promote products made by MSMEs throughout ASEAN.

As we continue our journey towards progress, Arsjad continued, it is very important to understand that the journey towards development must start from the ASEAN market. This principle is confirmed by the significant growth of the ASEAN economy, which soared to 5.7% in 2022.

With a positive outlook on the recovery of the service sector, it is estimated that the growth rate will be 4.6% in 2023 and 4.9% in 2024. “Total goods trade also recorded strong growth of 14.9%, reaching a total value of US$ 3,847.0 billion, and intra-ASEAN trade surged 21.3% in 2022, contributing to 22.3% of total ASEAN trade, " said Arsjad.

It was further explained that the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the ASEAN region will reach US$ 224.2 billion in 2022, which reflects a growth rate of 5.5%. On the other hand, intra-ASEAN FDI contributed 12.3% of the total ASEAN FDI flows.

That being said, business forums like the ASEAN Women CEO Forum, ASEAN Climate Forum, ASEAN Future Generation Business Forum at the Ritz Carlton Pacific Place, Jakarta and the ASEAN Investment Forum are being held at the Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta; starting on 2 - 3 September 2023.

Arsjad stated that ASEAN's intrinsic strength lies in the complementary relationship between member countries. This inclusive and harmonious collaboration lays the foundation for progress, enabling the region to stand firm against external market pressures.

"By nurturing these relationships, ASEAN strengthens its competitiveness and establishes itself as an influential player on the global stage," said Arsjad.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will start on September 3 - 4 2023. On September 4, the ASEAN Business Awards will be held.

ASEAN-BAC also provides Policy Recommendations for each business council throughout the ASEAN region. This provides the framework in realizing the next steps towards ASEAN as the Epicentrum of Growth.

“ASEAN-BAC is very enthusiastic about carrying out this series of events and hopes to strengthen relations between the private sector and government in an effort to advance economic growth in ASEAN," said Arsjad.


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