Indonesian Trade Minister Visits Yale SOM
The Yale School of Management welcomed Indonesian trade minister H. E. Gita Wirjawan to campus on September 27 for a discussion about Indonesia's rise as a global economic power.
"Indonesia is on the cusp of an economic renaissance," Wirjawan told an audience that included students from Yale SOM's Master of Advanced Management (MAM) program and full-time MBA students, as well as students from the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the Yale World Fellows Program, Yale College, and other Yale schools.
Yale SOM Dean Edward A. Snyder introduced Wirjawan. "It's great to have Gita here to give us insights into the global economy and Indonesia's really exciting role going forward," Snyder said.
In his address, titled "Rise of Asia: Indonesia," Wirjawan traced the country's history through its independence in 1945, first directly elected president in 2004, and up to the present, when its growth rate puts it second only to China among Asia Pacific nations.
"Indonesia is likely to be one of the top 10 global economies by 2030" barring unforeseen natural or political catastrophe, Wirjawan said. He cited the nation's growing and youthful—60% of the Indonesian population is younger than 39—consumer class as an asset, as well as a debt-to-GDP ratio of 20% and a budget deficit that is less than 2%.
"This prudence is really what many countries around the world are seeking," Wirjawan said.
To keep growing and improve quality of life for its citizens, Wirjawan said, Indonesia must map out comprehensive primary, secondary, and university educational opportunities; do more to protect the environment; and provide better and more secure food resources to the populace. "I know how things could go wrong in Indonesia, and I know that when you start overestimating yourself and stop being grounded, things can go wrong," he said.
Snyder said that Wirjawan met with eight separate groups across the University during his visit to discuss "increasing the flow of talent from Indonesia to Yale." He also noted that Yale SOM is strengthening its relationship with Indonesia. The University of Indonesia Faculty of Economics is a member of the Global Network for Advanced Management, he said. Two Indonesian students are currently enrolled in the MAM program, one is in the full-time MBA program, and another attended the Global Pre-MBA Leadership Program this year. And for the first time, Indonesia will be among the destinations full-time MBA students visit during the required International Experience course this academic year.