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Jakarta Post

Jokowi promotes 'blusukan' at leadership forum

  • Tassia Sipahutar

    The Jakarta Post

Seoul   /   Tue, May 17, 2016   /  12:30 pm
Jokowi promotes 'blusukan' at leadership forum President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo arrives at Seongnam Airbase in Seoul on Sunday afternoon. Jokowi is on a three-day visit to South Korea to strengthen bilateral ties and explore investment opportunities. (Photo Courtesy of Cabinet Secretary Website/Intan)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo promoted his trademark blusukan (impromptu visit) style of diplomacy at a leadership forum in Seoul on Tuesday.

Jokowi told the audience of the 7th Asian Leadership Conference (ALC) – which was held by major South Korean media outlet Chosun Ilbo – that he solved most of his challenges as a government official by making blusukan.

"I walked and walked and walked when I was the mayor of Solo [in Central Java]," he said, adding that the visits enabled him to have heart-to-heart conversations with the people and to commence long-delayed projects.The blusukan continued when he was elected governor of Jakarta in 2012 and then President in 2014.

"But now I don't walk. I fly," he said, sparking laughter among the audience, which included South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, former US president George W. Bush and former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Jokowi applauded this year's ALC theme of "Asia Tomorrow: Innovation 4.0". He acknowledged that innovation played a crucial part in world dynamics, but warned that such a focus could create wider inequality gaps between winners and losers.

"It can lead to extremism and radicalism."

He came full circle in his remarks by calling on leaders to walk together with the people while at the same time supporting innovation. (dmr)

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