Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Preparations are underway for Indonesia's G20 presidency in 2022, as the government teams up with the academia.
The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, who is also the coordinator for the summit, has inked a partnership agreement on the G20 presidency with University of Indonesia (UI) and Pelita Harapan University (UPH) in Jakarta on Monday.
The signing opens doors for internship programs where students can take part in preparing for the international forum. The partnership also covers areas such as academic research and the establishment of a study center on G20 issues.
"The study center will hopefully become the first G20-focused knowledge hub in Indonesia and Southeast Asia," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said at his office in Jakarta on Monday.
Airlangga noted the G20 presidency agreement would strengthen Indonesia's triple helix pillars of innovations, which encompasses collaboration between government, universities, and industry.
"The government is also looking to join forces with other universities as well," the minister added.
In his speech, Airlangga highlighted how the G20, which encompasses 19 nations and the European Union (EU), holds a prominent position in the global economy – thus a privilege for Indonesia to become its host.
"G20 holds almost 75 percent of the global trade, 80 percent of the global investments, and two-thirds of the world population. Indonesia is also the only Southeast Asian member in G20 and the largest economy in Asean," he said.
The 2023 summit – themed "Recover Together, Recover Stronger" – will address how to spur recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. It will also discuss strengthening resilience and promoting inclusive growth.
"The Indonesian government would like to bring added value to the G20 by holding a forum that is adaptive to the crisis and showcases what Indonesia has done to combat the pandemic and recover the economy."
UI rector Ari Kuncoro welcomed the partnership as it would enable students to have first-hand experience of working together in the real world.
"What higher education has been doing so far is a simulated environment where syllabus, lecturers, and interactions are regulated. GPA is also an individual assessment. [With the internship], students can have a shared experience of working together as a team," Ari said.
According to UPH rector Jonathan L. Parapak, the partnership is an opportunity to implement the three pillars of higher education, namely the research pillar. The university is also looking forward to carrying out research.
"This is also an opportunity for the interns to gain knowledge and prepare themselves, so that the cadres of this nation can play a role in our efforts as a G20 member, " Jonathan said.
In addition, the partnership illustrates Kampus Merdeka – a program coined by the Education Ministry to encourage interactions between universities and the real world.
"[As stated by Kampus Merdeka], we must involve our students in the industry and key organizations like G20," Jonathan said.
Indonesia was supposed to chair G20 in 2023, but later swapped the presidency term with India, as it would overlap Indonesia's 2023 Asean chairmanship.