JAKARTA, October 31, 2021—President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo highlighted the importance to strengthen global health architecture that adheres to the principles of solidarity, equality, justice, and transparency, at the first session of the G20 Summit on Oct. 30 in Rome, Italy.
“In order to overcome the global crisis, the President proposed a number of measures including drawing a mechanism for the mobilization of global health resources, establishing health protocols for cross-country activities, and optimizing the role of the G20 in overcoming scarcity and inequality of vaccines, medicines, and essential health equipment.” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told the press on a Virtual Press Release on the Result of Rome Working Visit.
During the meeting, world leaders discussed efforts to weather the economic and health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to emphasizing on strengthening global health resilience, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also emphasized the importance the acceleration of a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable global economic recovery.
According to Foreign Minister, the meeting resulted in a shared view among the leaders, that the pandemic is not over and the world economy has not yet recovered. Furthermore, the leaders agreed to support the global strategy issued by WHO on the requirement for 40 percent vaccination by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by mid-2022.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati added that global economic recovery did occur, however, it is not equally distributed. One of the reasons is the unequal access to vaccines between developed countries, developing countries, and the least developed countries.
“Covid is an actual threat to the world economy, so in the discussion between the Finance and Health Ministers, it was agreed to draw a mechanism of pandemic preparedness,” said Finance Minister.
The President has made interventions that encourage the strengthening of the global health architecture through a commitment on collaboration to control global pandemic by ensuring timely, fair, safe, and affordable access to vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and health equipment as global public goods.
“The G20 has agreed to form a Joint Finance-Health Task Force, a working unit of G20 finance and health ministers which aims to prepare prevention, preparedness, and response or PPR from the pandemic, which is co-chaired by Indonesia’s and Italy’s finance Ministers,” she explained.
The form of the task force will be further discussed under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency. In this regard, Indonesia plays an important role considering that it is a large country and it has committed to vaccination achievements.
MSMEs and the Role of Women for Indonesia’s National Economy
During the G20 summit Side Event entitled “Supporting SMEs and Women-owned Businesses to Bounce Back”, the President emphasized that empowering MSMEs and women has become a central policy in accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Indonesia.
In his explanation, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo provided several examples of the government’s support in empowering MSMEs and women through several inclusive programs such as the Micro Waqf Bank, the Mekar Program, Ultra Micro Financing, the People’s Business Credit (KUR), and other programs related to the digitization of MSMEs. Such government programs involved 65 million MSMEs that contribute to 61 percent of the national economy, where 64 percent of MSME actors are women. In this event, Ratu Maxima also appreciated Indonesia’s inclusive economy program which also involved online motorcycle taxi services.
In addition to the above two agendas, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also held bilateral meetings with three countries, namely Australia, France, and Turkey, and with the World Bank.
At the bilateral meeting with Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the two countries reached an agreement on a Joint Statement on Cooperation on Green Economy and Energy.
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto explained, “Australia also agreed that policies in the energy sector and energy transition must be followed by financing and investment related to climate and affordable and available technology. This is expected to encourage the acceleration of green energy.”
On the issue of the pandemic, the two countries discussed cooperation in opening tourism access with the recognition of vaccine certification by a number of countries (Vaccinated Travel Lane/VTL). President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also appreciated Australia’s assistance of the 10.5 million doses of vaccine delivered for Indonesia some time ago.
Meanwhile, the bilateral meeting with the President of France Emmanuel Macron related to cooperation in the field of primary weaponry defense system (alutsista) and joint production. France expressed its support in Indonesia’s G20 Presidency. Indonesia also discussed the cooperation between Indonesia and the EU with France, as the current President of the EU.
“Indonesia hopes that the acceleration of EU-CEPA for Indonesia’s economy will increase Indonesia’s exports to Europe and vice versa,” said Coordinating Minister for the Economic Affairs Airlangga. The two countries also discussed the issue of climate change mitigation related to the prevention of deforestation. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo revealed that currently, forest and land fire cases have reached their lowest point in the last 20 years. President Joko Widodo is committed to making efforts to restore mangrove forests up to 600 thousand hectares in the next 3 years.
At the bilateral meeting with Turkey, Indonesia discussed several cooperation including related to Indonesian CPO which has a large market in Turkey. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also revealed his plan to visit Indonesia in early 2022 to discuss the Comprehensive Economic Partnership between Indonesia and Turkey (IT-CEPA).