SBM ITB Assistant Professor Talked on Indonesia’s Competitiveness at IMD Switzerland

Our lecturer with the ranking of Assistant Professor and a member of the SBM ITB Jakarta Campus Steering Committee, Dr. Agung Wicaksono, was invited to give a talk at IMD (International Institute for Management Development) in Lausanne, Switzerland (25/9/2012). He spoke in IMD Community Session attended by MBA students, faculty members and researchers at IMD with the title “Indonesia: A Tiger Rising Again In The Changing Global Landscape, A Democratic Journey Towards A More Prosperous and Competitive Nation.”

Prof. Jean-Pierre Lehmann, IMD’s professor on International Political Economy who invited him, expressed his admiration on Indonesia by saying, “Indonesia is the world’s 4th largest country by population, it has the world’s largest Muslim population, and it is the world’s 3rd biggest democracy (after India and US). Indonesia is also a highly heterogeneous country, spread out over more than 17,000 – 18,000 islands, with an extremely rich and diverse culture. Currently it is also one of the countries with the fastest economic growth. Indonesia counts, yet it is very little known. So we were fortunate to have the visit of Dr. Agung Wicaksono, an expert staff at the president office’s reform unit and academia at the country’s leading management school, to speak on Indonesia’s journey towards a more competitive and better governed nation.

In IMD auditorium where MBA students come from 46 different countries, Dr. Agung spoke on Indonesia’s current state almost 15 years after the ‘reformasi’ era that dismantled the long rule of authoritarianism following the Asian financial crisis of 1997/98. Indonesia is in a better shape than ever with economic growth constantly at the upper league among emerging economies and now a member of G-20. However, democratization and decentralization as the two key elements of the reform did not necessarily bring good governance, better public service delivery and equitable development with immediate impact.

IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) in 2012 degrades Indonesia’s ranking to 42nd – down 5 notches compared to last year’s – mainly due to 3 issues: inefficient bureaucracy, worsening business climate and stalled infrastructure. As a Special Assistant to the Head of President’s Delivery Unit (UKP4) of Republic of Indonesia Prof. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto – founder of SBM ITB and chairman of the school advisory council – it was timely that Dr. Agung revealed the innovative actions taken by this unit to tackle those 3 issues hindering Indonesia in the IMD’s WCY 2012.

IMD is ranked first in executive education outside the US and second worldwide according to Financial Times (2008-2011), and IMD MBA is ranked number one worldwide by Forbes 2011 as well as number one outside the US by The Economist in 2011. Its annual World Competitiveness Index is used by governments around the world to assess their international competitiveness and benchmark their performance.