Advice for our next leader: Gita Wirjawan
"I think the game changer from a fiscal standpoint would be an increase in the number of taxpayer"
July-September 2014
By: Gita Wirjawan

Beyond that is the tertiary educational challenge of producing graduates who can compete anywhere – in Singapore, in Indonesia, in New York, in Hong Kong, in London.

As you talk about these economic issues, the other question that comes to mind is how would you advise the next leadership to develop a culture of discussing and debating policies in an effective manner? There ought to be a clearinghouse for ideas and that should be judiciously undertaken by the policy makers with respect to the private sector. Kadin, Hipmi, Apindo and the various industry associations should sit down on a regular basis together and act as a clearinghouse for ideas that get funneled up to the executive branch properly. That didn't happen in my time. And it is a simple thing to formalize such a structure. You know we often get too good at forming committees for the sake of forming committees. That can become a mockery.

But I think you can structure a clearinghouse for ideas and solutions for any particular concern or opportunity. You can look at solutions in a results-oriented manner, by which I mean Indonesia has got to be able to produce a Samsung, we've got to have a Hyundai. We don't have the Samsungs of this world. We need brands that symbolize industrialization and tenacity in doing just about anything. This means also producing good quality athletes, farmers, fishermen, anyone.

Think about this. The dollars that will be consumed in the next 20 years by Indonesians on a cumulative basis will be about $36 trillion. That is good, that is scary good. And wouldn't it be nice if most of that had a red and white flag on it? How do I derive that number? If you extrapolate from the $1 trillion GDP and grow that with 6 percent real growth over 20 years you end with about $60 trillion. With about 60 percent of that being cumulative domestic consumption, we have $36 trillion.

This will also mean rising government spending and given that, I don't see how we can't produce world-class industrialists and experts and thinkers. You just need the right combination of carrot and stick. Combine that with our desire to move up the value chain and I think it is beautiful. That is the endgame for Indonesia.

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