At the Indonesian Rector Forum Conference, held virtually from the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java on Saturday, Jokowi noted that several countries in the world had spent decades, even hundreds of years, being trapped in the middle income status.
"That is what we do not want. The question is whether we have the opportunity to get out of the middle income trap. My answer is firm and that is we do have a big opportunity and substantial potential," he remarked.
On July 1, the World Bank had raised Indonesia's status, from a lower-middle income country to an upper-middle income nation, as Indonesia saw its Gross National Income per capita rise to US$4,050 in 2019, surpassing $3,840 recorded in 2018.
The Gross National Income (GNI) refers to the total amount of money earned by a nation’s citizens, businesses, including goods and services produced and sold overseas, and foreign investment.
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Despite the status upgrade, Indonesia is still a middle-income country. To this end, President Jokowi reminded that Indonesia had huge potential to record a status upgrade once again to become a high-income nation, with several requirements.
Firstly, Indonesia should have in place efficient infrastructure while also establishing a competitive, speedy, and goal-oriented work system, the president elaborated.
Furthermore, Indonesia requires superior, productive, innovative, and competitive human resources.
"This is where the strategic position of higher education is, specifically to develop science and technology and to produce competitive young people always willing to fight for humanity and the progress of Indonesia," he stated.
To this end, the president emphasized that a normative approach cannot be adopted to improve the quality of human resources but instead new strategies and breakthroughs were required to accelerate further.
"We must change, look for new ways, develop new strategies, and look for smart shortcuts, all of which are out-of-the-box," he stated.
The president then invited rectors and stakeholders in the education sector to capitalize on the peak demographic bonus that will be enjoyed by Indonesia by producing superior youngsters to develop an Onward Indonesia.
"Indonesia will soon be established for one century in 2045, a mere 25 years away. Let us make history, let us prove we are not trapped in the middle income status, and let us prove that in 2045, Indonesia can become a high-income country for all people," President Jokowi stated.
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