The 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia, to be held in Jakarta next week, is slated to push for greater public-private partnership initiatives and increase trust among economic players in East Asia in the face of an ongoing global economic slowdown and numerous geopolitical crises. (Epa Photo/Jean Christophe Bott)

World Economic Forum an Exercise in East Asian Trust

BY :VANESHA MANUTURI

APRIL 16, 2015

Jakarta. The 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia, to be held in Jakarta next week, is slated to push for greater public-private partnership initiatives and increase trust among economic players in East Asia in the face of an ongoing global economic slowdown and numerous geopolitical crises.

“As the world’s only international institution for public-private cooperation, the World Economic Forum is holding this meeting at a time where enhancing trust will be a defining factor in eliminating societal and political polarization,” Sushant Palakurthi Rao, senior director and head of Southeast Asia at the World Economic Forum, said at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

The forum will run from Sunday through Tuesday, with more than 700 attendees, including representatives from multinational companies like Chevron, Credit Suisse and Hitachi.

Leaders from major local conglomerates like Astra International, Gunung Sewu Kencana, the Lippo Group, Sinar Mas and Royal Golden Eagle are listed as participants at the forum taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel.

GlobeAsia is affiliated with the Lippo Group.

President Joko Widodo is scheduled to give the keynote address at the event, whose theme is “Anchoring Trust in East Asia’s New Regionalism.”

The “Grow Asia” food security partnership will be of particular focus of the forum as food security becomes an increasingly pressing issue in the region.

The East Asia region has been considered resilient to the problems plaguing developed economies in Europe and North America, ranging from slow economic growth to high unemployment.

The region’s economy, projected to grow at a rate of more than 7 percent this year, remains one the world’s fastest growing, with star countries including growth driver China and developed economies like Japan and South Korea.

Emerging economies from Indonesia to Myanmar offer attractive opportunities for global investors.

Still, political, social and economic tensions have affected stability — the key over-arching theme.

“To meet the needs of East Asia’s fast-growing economies, partnerships are essential to address people’s rightful demands for greater access to education, meaningful employment and political representation,” Rao said.

He added that the World Economic Forum was committed to creating more “opportunities of responsible investments” in the region, including in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

“When you have a forum like this, it is a tremendous opportunity. [...] The World Economic Forum is working closely on a wide range of public private partnerships to have a great impact across the nation,” he said.

The forum will be a chance for Indonesia to showcase its commitment to reforms, as the country aims to capture more investment to support national development, said chief economics minister Sofyan Djalil.

“Most of the participants have never been to Indonesia, or have not been for some time, so there’s a curiosity on what’s happening in Indonesia,” he said.

GlobeAsia

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