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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

24 November 2021


Yang saya hormati Bpk Suharso Monoarfa, Menteri Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional/Kepala Bappenas,

Distinguished participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalamu’alaikum Wr Wb,

It is my great pleasure to speak to you today at the high-level webinar “Towards Vision of Indonesia 2045: Economic Transformation based on Knowledge and Innovation”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed inherent vulnerabilities in our societies and economies.

It is clear that a recovery in economic growth alone would not make our economies more stable and sustainable in the long term.

We need to create a future growth model which is more resilient to both economic and non-economic shocks.

The current pandemic in addition to the impact of climate change is just a reminder of the elevated non-economic risks that we increasingly have to face.

The pandemic has also accelerated and harnessed the power of digitalization while recognizing the need for mitigating its negative aspects.

Dear colleagues,

Let me highlight three sets of policy challenges, those are essential for maintaining stability during the post-pandemic recovery and economic transformation namely:

  • Widened inequality gaps that threaten social cohesion and stability;
  • Structural disruptions caused by pandemic and post-pandemic transformations; and
  • The impact of digitalization on economic opportunity and human capital formation

In view of this, the post-pandemic recovery not only poses challenges but offers opportunities for countries to recover better together.

We need to learn the lessons from the pandemic. Across our region, we are still witnessing a deep divide in the equitable access to lifesaving vaccination, diagnostics and therapeutics, which are further exacerbating fault lines of our societies, and delaying the economic recoveries.

We learn that the pandemic has brought the importance of public health care and management at the front and centre of policy discourse.

We also learn that countries can no longer putting off protecting development gains from adverse shocks, making development inclusive.

The socio-economic impact of the pandemic was amplified due to lack of resilience and investments in people and the planet.

Therefore, policy support and recovery strategy should focus on sustainability in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Dear colleagues,

The region needs a transformation towards an inclusive, resilient and sustainable or green-blue economies.

There has been a growing call at COP26 to accelerate action to keep the 1.5 degree goal alive.

To cut greenhouse gas emissions in the developing countries and least developed countries, we need to work together with developed countries, financial institutions, private sectors and other stakeholders.

Allow me to provide a list of key priority areas for an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery in the region, which is also applicable to the Indonesian context.

To recover better together and to address the widening inequality gap, we need to build more inclusive societies by ensuring:

  • continuity in fiscal and financial support for vulnerable groups and hardest-hit businesses until a robust recovery;
  • promoting an employment-led recovery; 
  • closing social protection coverage gaps; and
  • harnessing human resources and skill development.

To create more resilient economies and better prepared for future crisis, we need to ensure that countries in the region is:

  • prepared for climate-disaster-health emergencies;
  • creating more resilient regional supply chains;
  • ensuring conducive trade and investment for recovery; and
  • strengthening transport and transit policies.

To build green and blue economies and better prepared for future crisis, we need to:

  • embed long-term sustainability in COVID-19 policy response;
  • incorporate environmental sustainability into business investment processes; and
  • accelerate green-blue public investment flows, energy transition towards clean energy and climate-resilient infrastructure.

We need to harness the power of digitalization by promoting digitalization processes and scaling up the digital-based economy.

Digitalization processes cover areas such as:

  • developing e-health care services;
  • promoting e-education; and
  • digitalizing government services

While the elements for scaling up digital-based economy would comprise of:

  • digital technology for resilient economies;
  • investment in technological innovation;
  • advance knowledge-based economic sectors; and
  • encouraging the private sector to also digitized their work and services.

We need to leverage financing for post-COVID-19 recovery and implementation of SDGs: 

  • address public debt issues of developing countries;
  • create fiscal space and mobilize domestics financial resources by reforming and optimizing tax policies;
  • finance climate mitigation and adaptation;
  • develop and promote carbon pricing mechanism;
  • promote innovative sources of financing such as issuance of thematic bonds, green bonds, blue bonds and blended finance; and
  • invest in inclusive business, including MSMEs and women enterpreneurs

Dear colleagues,

Over the decades, Indonesia has made a remarkable progress in improving wellbeing and development aspirations of its citizens.

However, there are several challenges as well as opportunities emerged over the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic as I alluded earlier.

With active policy measures of the government, there are visible signs of recovery, and further acceleration in economic growth and investment flows.

I also commend the important contribution and role of Indonesia in shaing lessons learned and best practices on SDG implementation and South-South development cooperation in areas related to finance, capacity builing and technology transfer which will be valuable for countries in the region on their pathway to recovery.

ESCAP stands ready to work with the Government of Indonesia and all member States in the accelerated implementation of SDGs through an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery.

I wish you a very successful event.

Thank you very much.

Wassalamu’alaikum Wr Wb

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