As Indonesia will assume the Sherpa track (Chairmanship) of the G20 for 2022, benefiting of the full support of the G20 countries, President Joko Widodo has created a National Commission to steer the organisation of the Summit, themed “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”. The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economy, Airlangga Hartanto, newly appointed by President Widodo as the Chair of the G20 Sherpa Track (virtually the agenda-setter of the Summit), stated that “The global pandemic of COVID-19 has made this forum face more complex challenges, and [I] expect that Indonesia will lead strategic measures to tackle the pandemic's impacts." As the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, put it, Indonesia “will build consensus to become a bridge builder and ensure that the interests of developing countries are reflected in G-20 decisions. (…) In this effort, the Indonesian Presidency will push for a number of priority issues, including: productivity, resilience, sustainability, partnership or enabling environment and global leadership".
Following the national Indonesian press agency, Antara, the G20 chairmanship would enable the Southeast Asian country to have a voice in setting the agenda for the recovery of global economy after the COVID-19 crisis, including the stability of international financial system. Subsequently, the news agency assessed, the Sherpa track will also allow Jakarta to better integrate its prioritized policy areas, such as digitalization, human resources development, women and youths' empowerment and availability of vaccine stocks, into the global community’s agenda.
According to the Indonesian Minister of Finances, Sri Mulyani, her country would “prepare a sustainable finance track agenda” that will assure the continuity of the current Italian incumbency. The Indonesian minister mentioned her country’s chairmanship will benefit of the joint expertise of multiple domestic financial institutions such as the Indonesian Central Bank, Financial Service Authority(OJK) and the whole Cabinet, stressing her beliefs that Indonesia’s role as a Sherpa for the G20 2022 will “really overcome the issues of global economic recovery and create a stronger global economy and have a more competitive, productive, and sustainable foundation”.
Ambassador (p) Gheorghe Savuica, a Romanian career diplomat with over 40 years of active diplomatic service in South and Southeast Asia, former Romanian Ambassador to Indonesia, inter alia, commented that “Indonesia’s role as the G20 Sherpa in 2022 represents not only a major diplomatic success for the Southeast Asian country, but similarly a worldwide recognition of its outstanding economic progress as a quickly developing economy”. “The significance and reverberations of Indonesia’s G20 chairmanship are deeply connected with the country’s role as a consensus builder in Southeast Asia and beyond. In fact, Indonesia will also hold the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023, which further stresses the country’s capacity as a bridge maker and significant regional actor in the Indo-Pacific”, Ambassador (p) Savuica continued.
President and Founder of the Romanian Institute for Europe-Asia Studies (IRSEA), Ambassador (p) Savuica has authored multiple articles and thought-pieces, as well as edited volumes published by the Romanian Academy, reflecting the significance of Europe-Asia cooperation. According to the Romanian diplomat, “Indonesia is currently growing from the driving force of ASEAN to a significant voice among the developing countries, benefiting of a capable diplomacy, resilient economy and full international support.” In his view, “the role assumed by Indonesia in G20 is very similar to Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European union in 2019. As responsible actors in the global community, both countries enjoy major support and great appreciation in the regional and international arena. As a member of the European Union, Romania is also part of the G20. It is my hope that the two countries would avail of their joint membership to further strengthen their excellent relations in both bilateral and multilateral formats”. “Most importantly”, IRSEA President added, “the G20 Chairmanship represents a golden opportunity for Indonesia to actively and positively contribute to the global governance system, as the embodiment of the <<ASEAN Way>> and developing countries’ aspirations. It is hard to think of a more promising actor to build consensus between the major global economies and a collective solution for the global agenda. Naturally, Indonesia’s role in the G20 is substantially reinforced by the other member states of ASEAN, as well as by the excellent relations with the G20 members from the region, i.e. China, Japan and the Republic of Korea”.
Established in 1999, the Group of Twenty (G20) counts 20 members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Group accounts for two thirds of the world population and 90% of the Gross World Product.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or view of IRSEA.