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Dual citizenship can bolster Indonesia's global competitiveness

Jakarta Globe - May 17, 2024

Jakarta – The Indonesian government is making headlines with its recent announcement of considering the introduction of dual citizenship, a move aimed at attracting skilled labor and supporting the nation's ambitious goal of becoming a developed country by 2045. This proposed policy change is seen as a strategic step to harness global talent and foster economic innovation.

Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest – a Dubai-based firm that specializes in citizenship and residency by investment for high-net-worth individuals worldwide – praised the initiative.

"The introduction of dual citizenship represents a transformative shift for Indonesia. It not only makes the country more attractive to international talent but also allows Indonesians abroad to maintain ties and contribute to their homeland without sacrificing their global mobility," Cotdemiey was quoted as saying in a recent press statement.

Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has experienced a considerable brain drain due to its restrictive citizenship laws. The current statute, enacted in 2006, does not permit dual citizenship for Indonesian nationals, compelling many, particularly skilled professionals and academics, to relinquish their Indonesian citizenship for better opportunities abroad. According to the Directorate General of Immigration, nearly 4,000 Indonesians acquired Singaporean citizenship between 2019 and 2022 alone, reflecting a broader trend of migration to more developed economies.

This loss of talent is particularly significant given Indonesia's status as an emerging market with substantial growth potential. The World Bank highlights that Indonesia's GDP growth could accelerate if it manages to retain and attract global talent effectively. By allowing dual citizenship, Indonesia could tap into its vast diaspora, which includes professionals in high-demand sectors such as technology, engineering, and finance, who can contribute to the nation's economic development and technological advancement.

Historical precedents from other nations illustrate the benefits of dual citizenship. Countries like India have implemented Overseas Citizenship, which has enabled the diaspora to contribute to their country of origin through investment, philanthropy, and knowledge transfer, without giving up their new citizenship. Such policies can significantly enhance economic ties and foster bilateral relations.

The debate around dual citizenship in Indonesia gained particular attention in 2016 after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo dismissed Arcandra Tahar from his position as energy and mining minister due to his dual Indonesian and US citizenship. This incident sparked a nationwide discussion about the need to modernize citizenship laws to reflect global realities.

"Dual citizenship could be a game-changer for Indonesia, allowing the country to leverage global Indonesian networks and expertise," Cotdemiey added.

"It provides a framework for a more inclusive national development strategy that recognizes and utilizes the diverse capabilities of its people, both at home and abroad," Cotdemiey said.

Moreover, the economic implications of such a policy extend beyond individual benefits. Granting dual citizenship can enhance Indonesia's attractiveness as an investment destination. It could lead to increased foreign direct investment from the Indonesian diaspora, known to be more willing to invest in their country of origin if they can maintain legal ties.

"Enabling dual citizenship would not only allow Indonesian expatriates to maintain their roots but also empower them to act as bridges between Indonesia and the global market," Cotdemiey added.

"Their investments and expertise could be pivotal in shaping a resilient and thriving economic landscape for Indonesia," Cotdemiey said.

Citizenship Invest itself is an advisory firm specializing in Citizenship by Investment (CBI) and Residency by Investment (RBI) solutions. With over 16 years of expertise, the firm has successfully assisted more than 20,000 clients from 85 countries in navigating the complexities of CBI and RBI programs.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/special-updates/dual-citizenship-can-bolster-indonesias-global-competitivenes