Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | 17:47 WIB

INDONESIA GEARS UP TO HOST ASEAN SUMMIT Establishing ASEAN as an Epicentrum of growth


Labuan Bajo

The summit will take place on May 9-11 in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The agenda also includes subregional cooperation meetings, namely, Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Of the eight meetings, seven will be personally chaired by President Jokowi, while BIMP-EAGA will be led by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. 

Impact on tourism and a creative economy 

The economic spillover effect from the holding of an ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo is estiHANDEWI mated to hit Rp5 trillion, generated from attending guests and delegates. According to ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) chairman Arsjad Rasjid, business representatives from across ASEAN member states have confirmed their attendance. In addition to the summit, ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN-BAC will serve as a high-level forum for dialogue between the Government and the private sector in the Southeast Asian region. 

These two meetings will supply momentum to strengthen tourism and micro, small and mid-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Labuan Bajo as one of Indonesia’s five super priority tourism destinations. Labuan Bajo Tourism Authority Board has prepared 1,156 rooms across 22 hotels and resorts in the island to accommodate the delegates and members of the national committees. The government has also trained 112 MSMEs to conduct digital marketing and tourism village promotion, with the support of Bank Indonesia. They will be scattered across several districts, including West Manggarai. Besides the central government and regional administration, the private sector will contribute to the development of MSMEs and a tourism ecosystem. Infrastructure developments such as the Waterfront Marina, Tana Mori, and Puncak Waringin are some prime examples. 

Prof (R). Dr. Ir. Handewi Purwati Saliem
Prof (R). Dr. Ir. Handewi Purwati Saliem is a senior researcher with the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). From 1981-2021, she was a researcher with the Agriculture Ministry’s Center for Agricultural Socioeconomic and Policy Studies. She was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Socioeconomics from Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) and a Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Agricultural Economics from the same university. She has authored and co-authored 137 scientific articles on food policy and security. She was awarded the Satya Lancana Karya Satya medals of honor in 1997 and 2016, as well as National Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Food Resilience in 2004 from the President of Indonesia.

Labuan Bajo Tourism Authority Board predicts that the increase in tourist visits and economic impact from the ASEAN summit will rival that of Mandalika MotoGP in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) in 2022. 

The ASEAN summit will see the visits by 11 head of state with their 550 delegates, plus 300-500 committee members and officials from relevant ministries/agencies and 1,300 security forces. “The large number of delegates, committee members and security officers will have an impact on the local economy, with a turnover estimated to be around Rp5 trillion,” said Arsjad. 

Read: Labuan Bajo still open to tourists during ASEAN Summit

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), foreign tourist visits to NTT have dropped precipitously since the pandemic, a reversal of fortune from the 155,900 foreign arrivals it welcomed in 2019. In the first year of the pandemic (2020), it plummeted to just 44,700. In 2021, it slumped further, by 80.4 percent, to 8,700, its lowest in a decade. The ASEAN Summit is expected to kickstart the recovery of the tourism and creative industry and rejuvenate the local economy and beyond. (Prof (R). Dr. Ir. Handewi Purwati Saliem)


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