The 2017 High Level Policy Dialogue in Jakarta

ANU Indonesia Project represented with Hal Hill with Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Secreatry General of Indonesian Ministry of Finance Hadiyanto, Head of Fiscal Policy Agency Suahasil Nazara, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson.

During the 2017 High Level Policy Dialogue in Jakarta. ANU Indonesia Project represented by Professor Hal Hill with Indonesian Finance Minister Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Secretary General of Indonesian Ministry of Finance Dr Hadiyanto, Chairman of Fiscal Policy Agency Dr Suahasil Nazara and Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Mr Paul Grigson.

Report on this event is also available on Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance website (in Indonesian).

The tenth High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) was held in Jakarta on 26–27 April. This annual meeting brings together academic scholars and top policy makers from Indonesia and Australia to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing Indonesia’s economic development. The HLPD was initiated in 2007 following a request from Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Indonesian Minister of Finance. Over the years, the HLPD has provided high quality advice to four Indonesian Ministers of Finance: Mr Agus Martowardojo, Dr Muhammad Chatib Basri, Dr Bambang Brodjonegoro, and Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati (who has served as Finance Minister on two occasions).

The 2017 HLPD, attended by over 80 people, was organised around the general theme of ‘inequality’, a highly topical and important theme, and an issue that all governments are grappling with. Indonesia is no exception, especially given that inter-personal inequality in Indonesia has risen significantly since around 2000.

The meeting commenced with a welcoming address by Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, HE Paul Grigson. This was followed by a keynote speech by the Indonesian Minister of Finance, HE Sri Mulyani.  During her speech, Minister Mulyani emphasised the importance of the issue of inequality, and its links to globalisation, including the perception that the benefits of the latter are unequally distributed. Minister Mulyani also stressed the importance of tax policy, to mobilise resources to provide much needed public goods as well as addressing the issue of inequality.

Following Minister Mulyani’s keynote speech the meeting was divided into three sessions – Session 1 was dedicated to Indonesia’s Development Trends, Social Aspects and its Implications on Inequality; Session 2 was dedicated to the Digital Economy, Technological Change and its Benefits to Economy including Reducing Inequality; and Session 3 was dedicated to Reducing Inequality through Fiscal Policy and Local Governance Improvements.

During the first session, the audience heard from Suahasil Nazara (Chairman of FPA-MoF) about long-term growth projections on population and economic implications, Diahhadi Setyonaluri (Universitas Indonesia) about female labour market issues and Athia Yumna (SMERU Research Institute) about the service sector, urbanisation and income inequality. Chris Tinning (DFAT) provided some general observations.

During the second session, the audience heard another keynote speech but this time from the Indonesian Minister for Communications and Information, HE Rudiantara. During his speech, HE Rudiantara stressed the importance of narrowing the digital divide as a means of improving equity outcomes. Minister Rudiantara also discussed some recent Indonesian examples of IT success and challenges. Following the Minister’s speech, the audience also heard from Mari Pangestu (UI) about the digital economy, Ross Tapsell (ANU) about digital Indonesia and Arianto Patunru (ANU) about servicification of the Indonesian economy. Yon Arsal/Nufransa (MoF) provided some general observations.

During the third session, the audience heard from Turro Wongkaren (UI) about tax policy in reducing inequality, Parjiono (FPA-MoF) about measuring benefit incidences of the social protection program, and David McRae (UniMelb) about improving effectiveness of local government fiscal governance. Hal Hill (ANU) provided general observations. The meeting closed shortly after with general remarks from Suahasil Nazara.

The Indonesian Finance Minister, Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati with Dr Arianto Patunru and Professor Hal Hill from ANU Indonesia Project. Professor Hal Hill presented the Communique resulting from the HLPD to the Minister. Also in the picture is Stephen Barraclough from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Bede Moore.

The Indonesian Finance Minister, Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati with Dr Arianto Patunru and Professor Hal Hill from ANU Indonesia Project. Professor Hal Hill presented the Communique resulting from the HLPD to the Minister. Also in the picture is Stephen Barraclough from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Bede Moore.

 

On 28 April, ANU staff lead by Hal Hill prepared a communique and presented it to the Minister of Finance with representatives from DFAT – Australian Aid (Stephen Barraclough and Bede Moore).