Indonesia is likely to be a major player in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, a think tank chief said at Julius Baer's inaugural Next Generation Summit in Asia in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday.
Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, predicted that Indonesia - as it had the biggest population in the region - would be strong in the face of the AEC.
"Indonesia is about 40 per cent of the ASEAN economy. For AEC, Indonesia is really strong," Tay said, adding that the management of its financial institutions would determine the country's position among the other ASEAN countries.
"The leadership of the central bank as well as the Finance Ministry will be crucial. However, I am quite confident that Indonesia will be okay," he said.
There are currently 10 ASEAN member countries representing a population of over 600-million people. In 2015, ASEAN is set to launch the AEC, a unified market for its members, to enhance not only the group's collective marketing might, but also the individual competitiveness of its members.
The groundwork for AEC was laid at the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007, with the AEC Blueprint unveiling its objectives: the formation of a common market and production base is complemented by innovative approaches to economic development. The recent progress report on ASEAN's readiness to meet the AEC mandate has been a welcome development. A substantial amount of the measures outlined in the AEC have already been accomplished.
In terms of per capita income, ASEAN has seen this rise to US$3,759 in 2012 from $2,267, since the blueprint was approved in November 2007.
Despite period of massive volatility in the global economy over the past decade, the Indonesian economy has displayed remarkable resilience and it is one of the ASEAN countries with positive economic development, Julius Baer research revealed.