Indonesia is a priority country of SECO’s economic cooperation and development. Despite economic growth and a decline in extreme poverty, the gap between rich and poor has only closed marginally in recent past. SECO aims at long-term growth that will benefit the entire population.
Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. It has the largest economy in South-East Asia and is the only G-20 member in the region. The country, made up of 13,500 islands, has a young but comparatively well-functioning democratic system and a pluralistic society. Despite the swings in commodity prices, Indonesia’s per capita income has grown by a relatively stable 4% p.a. since the turn of the millennium.
The struggle with disparities
There has been a significant reduction in poverty over the past 20 years, but Indonesia continues to face enormous challenges. Many people are at risk of sliding back into poverty. Economic growth used to benefit the rich more than the poor. Women earn up to 30% less than men. Moreover, the Indonesian archipelago is particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change.
What are SECO’s objectives?
Improved public services
SECO promotes economic and fiscal policy reforms to encourage a more efficient and transparent use of public funds. Public services should be useful and reliable. SECO also works to ensure that towns and cities grow more sustainably with better planning instruments.
SECO aims to make private businesses more competitive by encouraging less bureaucracy and better regulation. In particular, it helps SMEs improve their work processes and use resources more efficiently. For example, the tourism sector should become more competitive and create more jobs. SECO also makes it easier for companies to access long-term investment capital and international sales markets.
Apart from SECO, the Human Security Division (HSD) within Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs also operates in Indonesia.
From 2017 to 2020, a total of some CHF 75 million is earmarked for SECO’s economic development cooperation with Indonesia.