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Published on February 24, 2015

Underlining the country’s growing influence in the regional economy, the spotlight will turn to Indonesia this April as the 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia takes place from 19th to 21st April 2015 at the Shangri-La Hotel in the capital city ofJakarta.

This will be the second time that Indonesia hosts the Forum, after the 20th World Economic Forum on East Asia in 2011.

Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference which will be centered in Bandung,  capital of West Java Province, the international forum will be attended by no less than 650 government leaders and top business executives. Among  international companies slated to be represented at the forum are Shell, Chevron, Google, Microsoft, and more.

The international forum will focus on several topics including the New Regional Context, the New Economic Context, and the new Citizen Context. Among issues to be addresses at the forum are: How can barriers to integration be addressed to realize the full potential of the ASEAN Economic Community? ; How will increasing strategic competition affect future economic landscape and regional dynamics in East Asia? ; How can the circular economy be scaled up across value chains to promote continuous and regenerative flows of materials for use in manufacturing and consumption? ; What measures must be undertaken to develop “climate-smart” agriculture and increase efficiency in East Asia’s food value chains? ; How will societies balance rapid expansion of digital and social technologies with cyber-risk and digital misinformation? ; And how will increased connectivity through new technologies and changing consumer behavior transform travel and transport industries.

A regional follow-up of the annual WEF in Davos, Switzerland, the meeting will be an ideal platform for senior decision-makers from different sectors to explore how enhancing trust can improve regional cooperation and advance critical decisions for accelerating sustainable socio-economic development.

East Asia continues to be the world’s economically fastest-growing region. Projected to maintain an average growth rate above 7% in 2015, it boasts some of the world’s most prosperous economies such as Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. East Asia is further bolstered by the phenomenal rise of its emerging markets, including Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Underscoring this economic success, the region is now preparing for the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015, heralding a new era in the free movement of people, goods and services across a contiguous economic bloc of 10 countries with over 600 million people.

The forum comes at a time when the Indonesian government is seeking more foreign direct investment to speed up infrastructure development in the country, where investments make up a third of total economic output. “The timing is right considering our big plans for development,” stated Bachrul Chairi, the Trade Ministry’s director general for international trade, on 18th February 2015 as reported by He further added that “Indonesia has to take advantage of this moment where world-class CEOs will meet our government leaders, especially the president. We can present our plans and network with the CEOs in our efforts to bolster Indonesia’s economy.”

President Joko Widodo has set out ambitious infrastructure development plans for the next five years — from building power plants to generate an additional 35 gigawatts of electricity, to developing 24 new seaports — and has reached out to both local and foreign investors to boost their presence in the country. The Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM, targets total investment this year of IDR519.5 trillion ($40.4 billion) this year, up 14 percent from last year, with more than 60 percent coming from overseas.

Indonesia currently ranks 34th in the WEF’s Global Competitiveness report for the 2014 to 2015 period, improving by four places from the previous  year.

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