Jakarta. Two cabinet members encouraged those with the privilege of having education in the United States to share their expertise for the national interests and help the government create more jobs.
“We need you to implement what you have learned in America for national interests. Our economy is ranked 16th in the world and we are accelerating efforts to become a developed nation,” Research and Technology Minister Bambang Soemantri Brodjonegoro said in a gathering of US school alumni in Cikarang, West Java, on Thursday.
“We often see America as a defense and security superpower. What actually makes America great is entrepreneurship, ‘American dream’ is all about entrepreneurship,” said Bambang, who earned doctoral degree on urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois.
Bambang said job creation always becomes the central theme among political leaders and business entities in the US to propel the economy.
“US political leaders at all levels -- from mayors to the president -- carry the similar theme, that they will create more jobs for the people,” he said.
Indonesia must escape from the middle-income trap in order to become a developed nation and it needs a lot more job openings to achieve that, he said.
There are more than 100,000 Indonesian citizens who have been educated in American colleges and universities, according to US alumni association, the Alumnas.
However, only around 2,000 American school graduates have registered themselves with the association.
“We expect the organization to share knowledge and experience of what its members have learned from America,” Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly said of the Alumnas.
“The country is being faced with great challenges due to Covid-19. We need to get rid of the outbreak and recover the economy immediately. Those with the privilege of learning in America or other countries should share their knowledge with the government,” the North Carolina State University graduate said.
The organization was founded in 1981 but received government recognition only recently after being registered with the Justice Ministry.
A new organizational structure was inaugurated on Thursday, taking place at rapidly growing integrated township Meikarta in Cikarang.
Long-serving secretary Jimmy Gani is appointed president, while Yasonna and Bambang serve at the organization’s international advisory board, assisted by prominent figures such as former Indonesian ambassador to Japan John Prasetio, Lippo Karawaci CEO John Riady, Blue Bird President Director Noni Purnomo and Sintesa Group CEO Shinta Kamdani.
“We encourage our fellow alumni to join Alumnas as we believe that together we can make a difference,” Jimmy said during the inauguration.
“And we owe ourselves to contribute the best of our abilities to our nation backed by the spirit of serving and giving back.”
He added the association targets to increase membership to 10,000 in the near future.