“There is significant growth in the middle class in Asia and Asia Pacific. For the time being, we must ignore the number of political issues carried in the front pages of newspapers, because the most important fundamental and historic development currently happening in the world is the growth of the middle class, which is continuing to increase in Southeast Asia,” he said, in the presence of company leaders and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the CEO Forum of ASEAN-Australia Special Summit at International Convention Center here, on Saturday.
“Selfies have changed the world and even evolved into `wefie` and `vlog.` In Kalibiru, Yogyakarta, people queue for hours to get an opportunity to take perfect selfies, which Bloomberg calls `an Instagram garden,`” he noted.
Digital economy and social media, according to Jokowi, have brought fundamental changes in consumption pattern.
Quoting Bloomberg data, he stated that the world`s economy only grows three percent a year, but the tourism industry has grown seven percent. Bloomberg predicts one of the four new jobs in the next 10 years to come from the tourism industry.
“Again, 25 percent of new jobs in the world will come from the tourism sector. This is an extraordinary opportunity for ASEAN and Australia to not only promote tourist destinations for the middle class in China and India but also develop it as a big market for domestic tourism industry,” he revealed.
“Several years ago, when the price of commodities fell, Australia had stated, `let us change the explosion of mining into an explosion of dining`. I have said let us move the explosion of dining to ASEAN,” he explained.
Moreover, he added that ASEAN was just investing a lot in infrastructure development, such as airport, seaport, and railway development, and some ASEAN member countries have even started developing fast train system for the first time.
“This is an opportunity for Australian business players. ASEAN also ne to create big capital markets such as capital market for dollar and Euro zone. This is a big opportunity for Australian banks and financial industry. Unless it is taken, other financial companies will certainly take it,” he elaborated.
“Now is perhaps a colorful time, in the midst of current global and local political situation, but it also offers an encouraging moment to improve the relations between ASEAN and Australia in the fields of trade, tourism, and investment. I welcome you to ASEAN and Indonesia,” he noted.
“However, the governments and businessmen must remain committed to rules that have been agreed upon for free and open trade, as opening a market may not happen by itself but ne support and commitment from business and governments. Therefore, I invite all of you to assure that the rules are honored in the region,” he stressed.
Reported by Desca Lidya Natalia