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Yunus Thie

In most of the situation, CHALLENGES always go together with OPPORTUNITIES. ASEAN consists of 10 countries which among themselves are gaps in several economic aspects, especially GDP per capita. Ranging from the lowest GDP per capita in the year 2006 of Myanmar with only US$ 208.6 to the highest ones of Brunei Darussalam & Singapore at US$30,928.80 & US$29,499.60 respectively (ASEAN Statistics). Internally, there are a lot of challenges among the members of ASEAN. As a region, the lesser the gap among the member countries, the more things in common to be effectively shared and more competitive ASEAN would be.

Mr.Hermawan Kartajaya, as always, is very sensitive in issues not limited to marketing, but beyond and extended marketing perspectives. Indonesia should not only be proud of having Mr.Hermawan Kartajaya, but to take his thoughts into consideration or even to appoint him as an advisor in positioning Indonesia.Indonesia’s labor productivity is one of the internal challenges pointed out by him. And Indonesia’s big number of labor force is one of the opportunities. However, the big number of labor force itself can not stand alone for the opportunity. Government has the important role in creating political stability and public security for attracting more investment in the current condition of getting less of natural resources.

Indonesia has the highest population among ASEAN members. Consequently, there will be more challenges and opportunities. However,Indonesian government has to do it’s home works to deal with the challenges and grab the opportunities in line with ASEAN common goals. Otherwise, Indonesia might be soon left behind the other member countries of ASEAN. While as the biggest ASEAN member, Indonesia should be able to play more important roles in competing with external ASEAN.

Yunus Thie

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