Jakarta (ANTARA) - In the next five years, economic diplomacy will be strengthened through special assignments given by President Joko Widodo to Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar, as well as concrete assignments to Indonesian representatives in other countries. However, several challenges are still expected to come in the way of Indonesia's efforts to strengthen economic diplomacy, including the increasing level rivalry and competition, protectionism, and populism.
"This negative trend must be transformed into positive energy. Pessimism in the world must be changed into optimism. It is important to transform rivalry into cooperation. The trust deficit must be replaced by strategic trust," said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi as she delivered the 2020 Annual Minister of Foreign Affairs (PPTM) Statement in Jakarta, Wednesday.
Amid the global economic challenges, Indonesia aims to be on the frontline of the effort to push collaboration forward, one that is mutually beneficial, just and stray away from the zero-sum game.
With a large market and population of productive age, Indonesia will capitalize on such assets to develop mutually beneficial economic cooperation with other countries.
Indonesia's economic diplomacy is focused on attracting quality investment in supporting Indonesia's sustainable development priorities, infrastructure development, human resource development, strengthening downstream industries and developing outermost islands, including the Natuna Islands.
Indonesia continues to develop high value-added industries, based on national natural resources, and improve the quality of development to stay away from the middle-income trap.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks to also encourage and develop Indonesia's outbound investment policy abroad for market expansion and enhancing industrial competitiveness at the global level.
From the initial mapping conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are at least 285 Indonesian outbound investments at the moment, with a value of US$14.30 billion.
"This is an asset of the Indonesian economy that must continue to be guarded, facilitated and developed," Foreign Minister Retno said.
Besides, several economic cooperation negotiations have been prioritized by Indonesia for 2020, including the ratification of the I-EFTA CEPA; RCEP signing; intensification of PTA / FTA / CEPA negotiations with African, South and Central Asian and Pacific countries; assessment of the FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and encouraging the implementation of economic agreements that have previously been signed with partner countries.
Source: Antara News