The Jakarta Post's noted a visiting professor from Columbia University who argued that in part respects Indonesia is already at BRIC levels, but that it needs to increase its investments in infrastructure and especially human capital markedly.
Indonesia’s competitiveness is ahead of that of Brazil, Russia and India, members of the “BRIC” emerging markets that are expected to lead the global economy by 2050, a Columbia University professor says.
Among the four BRIC countries, Indonesia’s only competitor would be China, Prof. Xavier Sala-i-Martin said on Tuesday.
“Indonesia is currently at 44th position in the global competitiveness index, ahead of Brazil [58th], Russia [63rd] and India [51st].
“If there’s a competitor for Indonesia in terms of competitiveness, then it will be China, which ranked 27th,” Martin told hundreds of businesspeople attending an economic forum arranged by Bank Mandiri at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Mega Kuningan, Jakarta.
Martin, who is among the founders of the global competitiveness report that measures current and medium-term levels of economic prosperity, said that to catch up with China and other leading economies, Indonesian policymakers needed to adopt a longer-term perspective, and mainly focus on two points: education and infrastructure.
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Indonesia has got to invest in its people, said Martin, adding that it was not only about how much the country was spending on education, but rather how it teaches its people.
Meanwhile, at the Jakarta Globe, Wim Tangkilisan is proud of Indonesia's success--especially relative to many of the BRIC countries--but doesn't think that pursuing membership in BRIC, or BRICI, or CIBI, or whatever acronym of notable emerging acronyms you might think of matters to Indonesians.
BRIC and brickbats — those are what President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono got for his efforts after the first year of his second term as chief executive.
BRIC refers to the rising status of Indonesia as an emerging economy in the same league as Brazil, Russia, India and China, the countries for which the acronym stands.
The brickbats are what his critics said and a few hundred protesters shouted in the streets of Jakarta and several other cities on the administration’s anniversary.
They asserted that the government is failing in the fight against graft, failing to resolve cases of human rights violations, failing to protect minority groups like the Ahmadiyah from persecution, failing to protect Indonesian overseas workers from abuses and failing to stand up against Malaysia in disputes on various issues including territorial boundaries and cultural legacies.
The critics are, of course, entitled to their opinions. This is, after all, the world’s third-largest democracy.
What is poignant about those brickbats, however, is that most of them refer to real problems the government is addressing.
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In August, Indonesia’s equity index skyrocketed by 22 percent, while that of Turkey made a strong 13 percent rise.
Compare that to the equity indices in Brazil, Russia, India and China, which lost 0.6 percent during the same period.