The Indonesian Embassy in Japan, together with Bank Indonesia (BI), the Trade Ministry and the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) officially launched Japan-Indonesia Partnership Lounge (JAIPONG) on Oct. 14. JAIPONG is an economic dashboard that provides a one-stop digital platform to the relevant economic data and information from both Indonesia and Japan. This is certainly good news, an obvious initiative that could help accelerate Indonesian economic recovery through investment.
Japan and Indonesia’s diplomatic partnership was established in April 1958 and continues to strengthen. In the digital era, bilateral diplomacy has become more efficient within just several clicks. The simple idea of providing an economic dashboard could boost partnership between the two countries, which in the end would benefit the countries’ economies.
JAIPONG provides four key features: data bank and policy tracker, interactive and user-friendly design, one-stop integrated dashboard and is bilingual in both Indonesian and Japanese. Those features are essential for the business partners from each country to access comprehensive information and data published by the governments.
Data and information are indeed essential for the economy. To execute economic activity without adequate data and information would seem like entering a dark alley blindly. Data is a chandelier to enlighten the economic paths. Information, in turn, is necessary to fulfill the deliberation process and serve as a guide for an economic decision. Hence, authorities have a task to ensure that data and information are readily available to be accessed by stakeholders.
Along with the digital trend, demand for faster and cheaper data is escalated. Technology is often an immediate solution. A platform that is officiated by the government like JAIPONG would bring the next level for bilateral economic partnerships. Each nation’s sovereignty is the guarantee for the integrity and resilience of the data disbursed on the platform. It is highly reasonable to rely on the platform. The fact that JAIPONG is provided by official authorities would also enable the platform to become a corrective tool, which will diminish the distribution of inaccurate data and hoaxes, which could be misleading.
From the global economic perspective, a platform like JAIPONG could serve as a cost-efficiency and an equalizing force. The platform is likely to bolster efficient capital allocation through offshore investment. By providing better organized data, JAIPONG would indirectly contribute to global economic stability. This measure is important, especially during today’s macroeconomic contraction.
JAIPONG will also strengthen bilateral trade between Indonesia and Japan. It is consistent with the implementation of local currency settlement agreed between BI and the Finance Ministry of Japan starting in late August 2020. Exporters and importers from both nations will be educated with comprehensive data and policy, thereby could execute a more well-informed business decision with a lower foreign exchange risk.
Domestically, the existence of an economic dashboard such as JAIPONG will support Indonesian economic structural reform. Not only that it would increase the ease-of-doing business in Indonesia, the platform will assist potential markets to execute a data-led economic decision.
Indonesia holds high productive potentials, such as bonus demography and abundant diversity, which entail appropriate capital power to gain productivity. Those are often overlooked in the global market. A strategic platform like JAIPONG is needed for channeling off-shore capital not only for big players, but also its direct and multiplier effects for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
This very platform would provide more market intelligence in both ways. Domestic businesses, including MSMEs, could be more sensible and close to the ongoing trend. Foreign businesses might also gain effective access to “what is happening” and “how the policy is directed”, thereby could catch productive end for their capital gain. However, this should not be the sole solution. It must be complemented by core policy to impact a better economic structure.
Any downside of the platform must be mitigated properly. JAIPONG would be a national strategic platform that brings a lure in the eyes of irresponsible hackers. Henceforth, the cyberattack must always be anticipated. Government-backed encryption and surveillance should be provided to ensure high-quality protection for the platform.
Another risk is that the more efficient information is provided, the tendency of speculation might be escalated. The only way to mitigate this is by providing data and information accurately and in the shortest lag as possible. Authorities involved should guarantee the high-quality of platform maintenance and update. By doing so, markets’ misjudgment and an irrational decision based on false and late information could be avoided.
But in essence, JAIPONG will not only benefit market players from Japan but also a broader base. Any stakeholder that has an interest in learning about Indonesia, whether they are journalists, economists, lawyers, private businesses or members of the public, from both Indonesia and Japan, are served by this platform. From a public interest standpoint, Indonesian economic policy is also becoming more transparent and accessible.
The platform is now live on the internet. As we know, the internet is practically a global public good. All eyes are on the internet. Authorities must be committed to providing an updated database to ensure the integrity and resilience of the platform. Moreover, further innovation based on routine evaluation and users’ feedback is necessary to improve the service from time to time.
Businesses and regulators should expect JAIPONG to be a brilliant precedent for further bilateral economic partnerships. In the spirit of the “free and active” principle on Indonesian foreign policy, a similar pattern based on the “synergy in harmony” could be expanded wider toward other prospective economic partners. Should there be equivalent platforms for such other economic partners, a better future for the Indonesian economy is within reach.
The writer is a legal affairs staffer at Bank Indonesia. The views expressed are personal.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.