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Indonesia-Singapore Forum: Celebrating 50 Years of Indonesia-Singapore Relations

On 8 December 2017, the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, in cooperation with the Policy Assessment and Development Agency (Indonesia) and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, jointly organised the Indonesia-Singapore Forum: Celebrating 50 Years of Indonesia-Singapore Relations. The event was held at the Orchard Hotel, Singapore. A total of 124 participants from Indonesia and Singapore attended the event, including prominent academics, businessmen, activists, professionals, bureaucrats and students.

From Left to Right: H.E. Ngurah Swajaya, Ambassador Soemadi D. M. Brotodiningrat, and Mr Tan Chin Tiong (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

A group photo before the panel discussions start (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

The Forum consisted of three panels and a roundtable discussion.

“Panel I - Liveable and Smart Cities” was moderated by Mr Poon King Wang, Director from the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (SUTD). The panel defined liveable and smart cities before discussing its feasibility. All four panellists concurred that in order to make smart cities liveable, socio-environmental impacts should be considered apart from upgrading technology and infrastructure. The success of smart cities depended on the cumulative efforts of local stakeholders, planners and policy-makers.

Panel I - Livable and Smart Cities (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

“Panel II - Seizing Opportunities in the Creative Economy Era” was moderated by Mr Agung Bezharie Hadinegoro, Senior Vice-President of East Ventures/EV Hives. Panellists discussed opportunities for SMEs to benefit from closer collaboration between the two countries. For example, they discussed how Singapore start-ups could penetrate the market in Indonesia, and vice-versa. Some areas that both countries can explore included the arts, publishing and animation industries. Some of the panellists argued that collaboration between the two countries should not be limited to enhancing technology, but to also embrace mentoring and knowledge-sharing.

Panel II: Seizing Opportunities in the Creative Economy Era (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

“Panel III - Enhancing People-to-People Connectivity” was moderated by Mr Sujadi Siswo from Channel NewsAsia. The panel included speakers from various fields: civil society, entertainment, business, and academia. Interestingly, the panel argued that more can be done to foster people-to-people ties, through developing greater trust and empathy, as well as learning the Indonesian language in order to improve connectivity.

Panel III: Enhancing People-to-People Connectivity (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

To round up the day’s discussions, last panel - Roundtable Discussion. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Several interesting questions were raised during the Roundtable Discussion. The audience was generally eager to explore opportunities that youths from both countries could tap on. The panellists, who were the three moderators from the separate panels, recommended how the government could play a role in creating smart cities, building a culture of innovation, and streamlining regulations. 

Prominent academics, businessmen, activists, professionals, bureaucrats, and students were among those who attended the event (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Closing Remarks by Ambassador Soemadi D M Brotodiningrat and Mr Tan Chin Tiong (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

The speech transcripts can be accessed here: