Letter: Indonesia, Asia and the world
The global economy is shifting toward Asia as the center of industrial manufacturing and other services. Being the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is increasingly seen as an important player in Asia’s success. Amid a global slowdown, in 2011, Indonesia recorded economic growth of 6.5 percent and many economists have projected the growth to continue.
That’s not all. Indonesia recently achieved two major benchmarks for economic growth. First, the House of Representatives passed a land acquisition law to ease the way for projects to flourish in the areas of infrastructure development. This will support the country’s economic growth in the future. Parallel with national plans, Indonesia anticipates delivery of over US$150 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years. Next, Fitch Ratings awarded investment grade status for Indonesia’s sovereign debt, giving Indonesia a stronger driving force to become one of the world’s most influential investment and commercial hubs.
Our decision to hold the 2012 Wharton Global Alumni Forum in Jakarta recognizes Indonesia’s influence and contribution to the global economy. The agenda includes high profile Wharton faculty as well as prominent and influential panelists and keynote speakers, including alumni such as Vice President Boediono, Malaysian central bank chief Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz and Jon M Huntsman, Jr., former US ambassador to China.
I am confident that the forum will provide an intellectually stimulating dialogue between our faculty presenters, invited business leaders and alumni. Wharton faculty presenters include George Day, Diana Robertson, Phillip M Nichols, Witold Henisz, N. Bulent Gultekin, Eric Orts, Raffi Amit and Stephen Kobrin.
Session topics and master’s classes at this forum will be wide-ranging and include sessions on the telecommunications industry, investment in Indonesia, sustainability, private equity, the hospitality industry, corporate diplomacy, neuroscience and business and family wealth management.
Sustainability is of particular interest in Jakarta and Indonesia, and this session will address important issues such as new and sustainable forms of energy, prudent stewardship of land and water and sustainable models of tourism.
The upcoming forum, which will be held on June 22 to 23, is Wharton’s first forum in Jakarta.
Thomas S Robertson
University of Pennsylvania