Editorial: No Going Back With Globalization
Globalization is a fact of life. No nation on Earth can afford to withdraw itself from the global order and achieve sustained economic
growth, But as government, business and civil society leaders pointed out the World Economic Forum on East Asia, globalization also has its drawbacks and challengers.
How countries respond to globalization, therefore, is crucial to not just maintaining open economies and trading systems but in elevating poverty and raising living standards. As President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono pointed out in his keynote address at the opening of the Forum, the solution is for business leaders to work with government to drive growth through innovation and push for greater economic openness.
Asia, he said, must be the center of innovation and leverage on its cultural diversity. Indonesia, for example, was driven by
opportunities, not fear. “This new found confidence is not particular to Indonesia, you can see it throughout Asia.”
For Asia to take its place as a leading economic force and an agent for effective change, it is critical that Asian governments not revert to short-term thinking and protectionist tendencies. Inclusive growth
and greater collaboration between nations as well as between governments and private businesses were key messages from a number of speakers on the first day of the Forum.
With the third fastest growing economy in the G20 and a vibrant, young
democracy, Indonesia has an important leadership role to play in ensuring that Asia does indeed fulfill its potential. That the WEF on
East Asia chose Indonesia to hold its 20th anniversary speaks volumes of the country’s rise and importance in shaping the new global order.
We do not know the shape of the future but we can ensure that Indonesia and Asia as a whole are part of the new global architecture.
As the president noted, we cannot take Asia’s rise for granted as both the United States and Europe will continue to play important roles.
As the president noted, there are still tensions between the old world and the new world. The challenge will be to ensure that these tensions do not spill over into open confrontation. Transforming potential into reality will not be easy and it will require time, effort and toil.
The opportunities, however, are enormous if we can grab them.