Since 1999, The G20 grouping has provided a multilateral forum for advanced and developing economies to overcome crises together. Accounting for more than 60% of the global population, 75% of global trade and 80% of global GDP, the stated goal of the G20 is to “create and maintain solid, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth”.
This year’s meeting is only the fifth time it has come to Asia so kudos to Indonesia for winning this high-profile event. While the allure of sun and sea on the island of Bali may have helped, without doubt it is timely with the economic might and potential of the world now focussed on Asia. We at Priority are delighted at this recognition of one of the most important markets in our region. Our clients’ solutions are increasingly gaining traction in Indonesia, a trend that is set to continue.
The G20 group has an impressive track record of achievement, most notably overcoming the global financial crisis in 2008. At that time, it issued a huge co-ordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus package, increased the lending capacity of the International Monetary Fund and helped get the world back on a stable growth path, while pushing important reforms to the financial sector.
This year’s gathering marks the pinnacle of Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20, and the culmination of the intensive work carried out in the Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups that have taken place throughout the year.
Indonesia assumed the rotating Presidency of the G20 at the height of the Covid pandemic on December 1st, 2021 and set three priorities for the group’s work; Global Health Architecture, Digital Economy Transformation, and Energy Transition as a comprehensive exit strategy to support global recovery. Important work has been carried out over the past 12 months in relevant areas including sustainable finance, open banking and financial inclusion, and support for economic recovery post-pandemic.
Empowering digital businesses is one of the key highlighted programmes and digital transformation continues to be a hot topic for the country’s media. Priority Consultants is strongly positioned in Indonesia’s communications landscape and supports several multi-national clients in the technology space, through media relations and content generation, as they take advantage of opportunities in this thriving market. Digital transformation is a key item on the national agenda through the country’s digital roadmap 2021-2024, which ideally mirrors the G20’s National Digital Talent Programme. The idea of this is to spread digital skills training as widely as possible, in order to create a generation of qualified experts who will become the main navigators driving the digital ecosystem. Currently, Indonesia needs to equip at least 600 thousand people with these skills every year. This will help not only Indonesia but also more broadly the Asia Pacific region where it is projected that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 47 million digital workers. It is possible to imagine Indonesia, with its huge population, becoming a digital workforce for the world, in the same way that the Philippines established itself as a global resource for BPO.
How the world sees Indonesia
Hosting the summit is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Indonesia to demonstrate its impressive economic and social progress to a world that has only limited understanding of this complex, vast, resource-rich archipelago of 18,000 islands. The apex of the year-long G20 Presidency will put the country firmly in the international spotlight, allowing Indonesia to demonstrate all it has done to help restore post-pandemic confidence in the domestic and international economy.
Closer to home, the group Presidency confirms the country’s status as the regional leader in international and economic diplomacy, given that Indonesia is the only G20 member among the countries of ASEAN.
Indonesia’s G20 Presidency began with a focus on recovery from the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. However, in the twelve months since taking on the role, the world has careened into probably the most worrying set of challenges for the last 50 years. The pandemic is still not over but we now find ourselves also facing economic instability, great power confrontation, a soaring cost of living crisis, rising inflation, food shortages, a runaway environmental catastrophe and war in Eastern Europe.
Among the world leaders expected to attend the G20 summit are the Presidents of the US, China, Russia and Ukraine. Given the existential challenges facing the world at this time, the summit is an unprecedented opportunity for these powerful men to find common ground, de-escalate conflict, and reduce geo-political tensions. It would be most fitting if Indonesia’s Presidency were to be remembered as the time the world stepped back from the brink.