As a major Asian economic powerhouse, the world’s largest Muslim majority nation and third largest democracy, Indonesia’s future direction matters to a closely watching world. Since taking over last autumn, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has outlined a new foreign policy focused on three priorities: maintaining Indonesia’s sovereignty, enhancing the protection of Indonesian citizens, and intensifying economic diplomacy. On the economic front, the President has scrapped petrol subsidies, giving the government more fiscal room to tackle other priorities including increased spending on health, education and infrastructure. Six months on, what are the new President’s key achievements and challenges? As he goes about strengthening his credentials at home, is President “Jokowi” putting at risk Indonesia’s global reputation? Will Indonesia’s new “people-oriented” foreign policy priorities change Indonesia’s interaction with the world? Is Indonesia still committed to ASEAN as a cornerstone of its foreign policy? What are the most important economic tasks facing Indonesia today? And is Indonesia doing enough to act as a model for other Muslim countries and transfer its successful experience on democratic transition to other nations. What role do SMEs play in the economic development of Indonesia? What are Indonesia’s expectation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)? What is the state of EU-Indonesia trade and economic relations?
Moderated by Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, the panel includes Marc Deschamps, Director of Muslim Economic Department, L’Agence wallonne à l’Exportation et aux Investissements étrangers (AWEX); Rahimah Abdulrahim, Executive Director, The Habibie Center, Jakarta, Indonesia; Felia Salim, Former Vice President Director, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Ugo Astuto, Acting Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, European External Action Service (EEAS).