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Be the Next Indonesian CEO !

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This Paper Achieved 1st Winner of Writing Competition of APEC Business Advisory Council

or known as Asia-Pasific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council 2013  (ABAC Indonesia)

Asia-Pasific CEO Leaders

(Business Leaders From 21 Asia-Pasific Economies at the 4th ABAC Meeting 2013, Bali)


Read the Prospect of the Future

Almost ten days attended the Asia-Pasific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2013 in Bali, its very amazing events was made me overwhelmed with unlimited knowledge, understanding and wisdom. As a young generation, getting involved to this sort of events are a very rare experience and subjectively counted as my lifetime achievements. I witnessed many things and underwent new lessons throughout the events, from the 4th of APEC Business Advisory Council Meeting (known as ABAC), the APEC CEO Summit, the APEC Voices – Young Leaders Representative from the 21 Asia-Pasific Economies, and also accompanied to various social events. But above all, that all events has changed my paradigm toward my future expectations of Indonesia within the APEC alongside with the changing nature of global political-economy and personally shaping my idealism to be the next Indonesian leaders.

Inspired by Asia-Pasific Economic Leaders either from government or private sectors of 21 Economies, I assured that the future of Indonesia in this inter-region cooperation will have a very good prospects on the economy and bring welfare not merely to the people of Indonesia, but generally to people in the Asia-Pasific. Borrowing Kishore Mahbubani[1] words that stated his views about APEC as “The Important Forum With Many Unprecedented Things”, therefore, hope and expectation mingled together as a solution in facing an uncertainty situation of global economy.  Eventhough the APEC 2013 was overshadowed with condition of the Fed’s Quatitative Easing and the US Shutdown, but prospect of bright future still remain for Asia-Pasific economies. For the Asia-Pasific is now the most dynamic region in the world with 44% total of global trade, 54% of world GNP and 41% of world population, so that the Asia-Pasific will also play a significant roles to the resilience of global economy on next decades. According to the IMF, APEC economies will still grow 6.3% in 2013 and 6.6% in 2014 or accounted more than twice to the world average. As noted before, it means that APEC economies is a crucial source of global growth.

As the Host and Chair of the APEC 2013, Indonesia constructed their interests through the theme of “Resilience Asia-Pasific: Engine of Global Growth” and priorities they have proposed which are First, Attaining the Bogor Goals; Second, Achieving Sustainable Growth with Equity; Third, Promoting Connectivity (Yudhoyono, 2013). Those interests are not only reflects Indonesia interests, but also be the common interests of Asia-Pasific Economies. Moreover, those priorities are inter-related to each others and achievement of each priorities will affect others.

In the era of complex interdependence, government no longer can be able alone to manage the economy and bring welfare to their people. The governments need to be assisted from cooperation with other stakeholders, including the private sectors. The Bogor Goals as the first priority reflects a willingness to liberalise trade and openness to investment, in which it is also clearly stated by the Republic of Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speech at the APEC CEO Summit, when he put some measures to emphasize Indonesia commitment toward its priority, such as to prevent protectionist policy, to instensify efforts to stimulate invesments, and to develop better infrastructure for the connectivity of Asia-Pasific (Yudhoyono, 2013). It simply means that trade liberalisation and open investment through the Asia-Pasific cannot be generated if the involvement of the private sectors were neglected.

Also with the issues of connectivity and sustainable growth where the government cannot merely resolve problems related to infrastructure, in which infrastructure are the important key to achieve sustainable growth and connectivity. On the one hand, infrastructure will increase the the flow of goods and services that will make economic growth better and sustain, whereas on the other hand connectivity will create better climate for investment. On the short and medium term, those will lead to resilience upon uncertainty of global economy in the Asia-Pasific region as well as continuing economic growth. Furthermore, on the long-term these related priorities will lead to regional economic integration with sustanainable inclusive growth and people-to-people contacts in the Asia-Pasific.

In fact, the APEC economies requires USD 8 Trillion funding to attain development in infrastructure and USD 300 Billion if counted the cross-border infrastructure (Tempo, 2013). For Indonesia itself, issues of sustainable growth and connectivity related to infrastructure reflects from its national strategy, the Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development 2011-2025 (MP3EI) which is requiring 460 Billion USD of investments. Thus, both National and Asia-Pasific development at least requires worth of investment and it cannot be guaranteed that each national government would provide funding to its development.

There are so many ways that the Asia-Pasific Economies offered to engage with the private sectors in order to tackling challenges and achieving priorities. Within the APEC, the 21 Economies responded by conducting the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in which also recognising the role of private sector to the related goals they willing to achieve. The private sectors gathered through the ABAC and soundings their aspirations regarding to the priorities of the 21 APEC Economies. This year, the ABAC responding APEC Economies priorities with addressing several priorities which has been calculated to strengthen those priorities. The ABAC adopted the theme of “Partnership, Resilience and Bridges to Growth” which has also addressed the common priorities from the government sectors, such as deepening the regional economic integration; promoting infrastructure, growth and sustainable development; fostering Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprise (SMME) development and entrepreunership; and also promoting the development and integration of financial markets (ABAC, 2013).

Based on the fact above, the prospect of the future political-economy in the Asia-Pasific region could be understood as the more interconnected world with trade liberalisation, open investment and connectivity as a driving forces. Barriers in trading systems and movement towards goods, capital and people seems to be more easier in the next decade within the Asia-Pasific region. The APEC as expected to be the new engine of global growth would also lead the 21 Economies into more resilient from the uncertainty of global economy.

Attended APEC 2013 through the involvement in the 4th ABAC Meeting and APEC CEO Summit for almost ten days in Bali was the invaluable and unbelievable experience. Many lesson learnt that APEC has given to be considered as a pathway and direction for me as one of Indonesian young generation. By reading the future prospect and projection of what would Asia-Pasific be in next decades, it has made me inspired to inspiring other young generation of what should they be in the next decades as well.

Why I Should be the CEO?

Business is not a bad guy, …. they can be the future” -Wishnu Wardhana[2]

Based on direct observation throughout the APEC 2013 that drew to my conclusion about APEC projection and future prospect in the next decades as very open region and liberalised economy in terms of flow of goods, services, capital and people, therefore the needs of future development of Indonesian young generation in economy has also become important.

One sort of ideas that could answer the situation is to encourage Indonesian young generation to be the CEO. As the first starting point to be the CEO, Indonesian young generation should to have a spirit of doing business or spirit of entrepreunership. If traced by the facts, Indonesian young generation has a very good prospect to play a significant role in the economy through the entrepreunership. Indonesia now delighted with its demographic advantage (Demographic Dividend) in which the young generation population as the productive age will take a very large portion of total population in 2010-2020 (See Graphic 1.1), or based on McKinsey Global Institute Report about Indonesia, Indonesia has one of the world youngest demographic profiles in which 60% of population is below 30 years of age (Institute, 2012).

This demographic advantage could be an instrument to leverage Indonesia economy in the future, thus it will also increase Indonesian welfare. Conversely, this demographic advantage also could be a big loss to Indonesia if the role of young generation were passive to the economy. In despite of 60% of Indonesian young generation are in productive age, but their desire to involve in business and lead the economy still very low. Therefore, it will relate to the issues of job availability, it is still counted very minimum. Based on Statistic Central of Bureau (Badan Pusat Statistik –BPS), on februari 2013 there are 7,2 Million of unemployment or counted 5,92% of total workforce and amongst 400.000 are scholars. To be the CEO and entrepreunership, many Indonesian young generation conversely will open jobs rather than wait for a jobs, or in other words they will answer the problems appeared to Indonesia job availability.

Nevertheless, related to the issues, in fact, the entrepreunalism among young generation is still an irony, accounted only for 400.000 thousands entrepreuner or 0,24% from total population in 2012 (Anas, 2012). Therefore, there have to be a little problems as well as challenges in Indonesian young generation charateristic when it comes to the issues of doing business. Whereas, if Indonesian young generation wants to involve in business they will open more jobs and contribute significantly to the economy.


Graphic 1.1 Demographical Age of Indonesian

Source: MP3EI, 2011

As stated above with the statement of Wishnu Wardhana at the opening APEC Voices of Asia-Pasific Young Leaders, “Doing business is not about a bad guy”, it reflects that many Indonesian young generation neither realise nor recognise their significant role of doing business in the economy, so that they prefer to work rather than take risk of doing business. Moreover, their perception about business is like doing bad things with exploiting something. In simply means, Indonesian young generation has an ‘unique’ national characteristic when it comes to the issues of doing business.

Current Fortune Magazines Asia-Pasific edition published “40 Success of CEO under the age of 40” (Fortune, 2013), it showed that the young success CEO started their business since they were 20 years and gained success in the next decades. There are some differences in the reflection from 40 young CEO with Indonesian young generation in doing business: they fear to take a risk. In fact, they are innovative and creative. In addition, with a more connected world through the breakthrough of information and technological communication, Indonesian young generation can also creative and innovative as well as young generation that stated in Fortune Magazines.

To be the CEO, not only the national characteristics of young generation will determine the outcomes, but there will be also a lot of challenges endogenously and exogenously hampered young generation. Many lesson learnt also observed when the CEOs from ABAC Indonesia shares their visions to inspire young generations.

Endogenously, many advices from Gatot Suwondo[3] to Indonesian young generation, that they should have a sense of optimistic in doing business, active and be open minded and also develop a strategic network. In addition, Gatot Suwondo also emphasized on the role of formal education which is also contribute important outcomes to Indonesian young generation in doing business.

Exogenously, if Indonesia wants its young generation to contribute to the economy and leverage Indonesian welfare through business and entrepreunership, there should be several adjustment in which can meet the requirements of fairness and equality of doing business for the young generation from Indonesia government. There should be several criteria to meet by the government in order to encourage its young generation to doing business, such as the efficiency of bureaucracy that lead to eradication of corruption, improvement on infrastructure, the guarantee of clear regulation, ease requisites of doing business and the most importantly is the access for financing the business. All of those criteria should be provided by the government to encourage a good climate for doing business in Indonesia, therefore the young generation will also feel they intention meet with the endogenous and exogenous factors that explained above.

Producing the CEOs for a country like Indonesia is not a big matters, but it is also not simple as can be seen. It needs strong commitment between government and stakeholders, also with its young generation. There should be also shifting in paradigm among young generation that entrepeunership or doing business are not bad and full of loss, but conversely it is beneficial and full worth. Learn from the changing nature of global political-economy, particularly in Asia-Pasific region, Indonesian young generation should keep a pace with the global environment and take a momentum to lead and get welfare from it. Moreover, n the next decade the Asia-Pasific region will be signed with the free flow of goods, services, capital and people.

To conclude, to be the CEO is realistic oppurtunity and chances for Indonesian young generation. Endogenous and exogenous factors as a driving forces for Indonesian young generation has clearly depicted how big oppurtunity that Indonesian young generation have to elevate its country and bring welfare to the people.






ABAC. (2013). APEC Business Advisory Council Report to APEC Economic Leaders. Indonesia: APEC Business Advisory Council Secretariat.

Institute, M. G. (2012). The Archipelago Economy: Unleashing Indonesia’s Potential. McKinsey Global Institute.


Fortune. (2013). 40 Under 40. Fortune , 56-68.

Tempo. (2013). Promoting Connectivity and Its Dimensions: Bring Potential Added Value. Tempo , 6-7.


Yudhoyono, S. B. (2013). Keynote Speech President of the Republic of Indonesia at the APEC CEO Summit. Bali.


Anas, F. (2012, Desember 29). Signifikansi Mencetak Wirausahawan Muda. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from


[1] This statement delivered by Kishore Mahbubani as speaker of the 8th session at APEC CEO Summit 2013. He is also Dean of Lee Kuan Yeuw School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

[2] This statement delivered by Wishnu Wardhana at the opening of APEC VOICES 2013 in Bali. He is also Chair of  ABAC 2013 and also President Director of PT. Indika Energy, Tbk.

[3] This advices stated at the opening of APEC Voices 2013 in Bali. He is an Alternate members of ABAC 2013. He is also President Director of PT. Bank Negara Indonesia.

Written by polhaupessy

November 27, 2013 pada 3:55 am

Ditulis dalam Indonesia dan Ekonomi-Politik

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