JAKARTA – On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, The Habibie Center held a Talking ASEAN dialogue entitled “Embracing ASEAN Community: Youth Perspective” together with the grand launching of the ASEAN Studies Program’s website (www.thcasean.org) at BINUS International building in Jakarta. The grand launching featured opening remarks from Dr. Firdaus Alamsyah (Executive Dean of Binus International) and Ms. Rahimah Abdulrahim (Executive Director of The Habibie Center), followed by a keynote speech by Ms. Helen Fazey (Regional Counsellor of the British Embassy Jakarta) on behalf of HE Amb. Moazzam Malilk (British Ambassador to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN). Ms. Elaine Tan (Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation) was also present to give her closing remarks. Meanwhile the Talking ASEAN discussion itself featured Rama Yudo Wirawan (Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia), A. Ibrahim Almuttaqi (Coordinator of the ASEAN Studies Program, The Habibie Center), Wafa Taftazani (Deputy Manager, Corporate, and Investment Banking, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ), and Vita Alwina Daravonsky Busyra (Lecturer, London School of Public Relations) as resource persons with Mr. Wirya Adiwena (Researcher, The Habibie Center) as the moderator. The objectives of this Talking ASEAN was to share the views, ideas, and experiences of Indonesian young professionals in facing the ASEAN Community 2015.
The first person to speak was A. Ibrahim Almuttaqi. He explained that the idea of embracing ASEAN Community was related to increasing the public awareness and knowledge about ASEAN. He further argued that level of awareness and knowledge of ASEAN was both low and poor among the general public. For youth, fears and worries were related to the jobs availability, where mostly Indonesian youth were concerned about their competitiveness to compete with other ASEAN countries. Furthermore, he explained that the young people in ASEAN (aged 15-29 years old) constituted 60% of the total population in ASEAN. As such he stated that the youth will have an important role to play in the ASEAN Community not only as subjects but also as actors.
Ms. Vita Alwina Busyra was the next person to speak. She argued that many young generations did not know much about the ASEAN Community, particularly about ideals that have been agreed by ASEAN leaders. She further noted the important role of youth, particularly as the part of development agenda. She stressed that Indonesian youth consisted of 62 million of the total population and should be included to the integration process of ASEAN Community because of three reasons : (a) youth were the future leaders; (b) youth could make influence and powerful contribution; and (c) youth could build a shared understanding between youth in ASEAN member states.
Mr. Wafa Taftazani was the third person to speak. He explained that the ASEAN Community would offer many opportunities for Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries such as developing stock market integration, creating regional value chains, and building cooperation to build infrastructure in the region.
The last person to speak was Mr. Rama Yudo Wirawan. There were three issues that he raised. First, the negative sentiment of ASEAN which was seen as exaggerated. Second, the AEC would not only bring trade and investment issues but also tourism and student exchange. Third, the development of ASEAN would be people-driven.
At the end of Talking ASEAN, there were several questions and comments from the audience: What do you think about the contradictions of government officials about Indonesia’s preparedness for the ASEAN Community 2015? How will you perceive ASEAN 25 years from now?
Mr. Rama explained that the government tried to solve the issue by conducting discussions with various stakeholders. Regarding the second question, Mr. Wafa explained that there would be a good progress on socio-cultural pillar. In the economic sphere, he argued that there would be a steady growth. However, in political issue, the South China Sea issue would hardly resolve.
Talking ASEAN dialogue on “Embracing ASEAN Community: Youth Perspective” is one of a series of twelve dialogues regularly held each month by The Habibie Center.
Talking ASEAN on “Embracing ASEAN Community: Youth Perspective”
Talking ASEAN on “ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC): Influence of Democracy in ASEAN Integration”
Special Talking ASEAN on “The New Government’s Readiness for ASEAN Economic Community 2015: Building Infrastructure to Increase Competitiveness”
Talking ASEAN on “The 25th ASEAN Summit: Indonesia’s Foreign Policy towards ASEAN under Jokowi”
Talking ASEAN on “The Climate Change Issues: Ensuring the ASEAN’s Environmental Sustainability”
The Habibie Center had a meeting with delegations from the China Institute of International Studies.
Strengthening Regional Security Architecture” at The Habibie Center Building in Jakarta.
Talking ASEAN on “AICHR Terms of Reference Review and the Development of Human Rights Protection in ASEAN”
Talking ASEAN on “ASEAN Disaster Relief : Sharing Best Practices and Experiences”
Talking ASEAN on “Myanmar’s Chairmanship of ASEAN : Updates and Reflections”
Talking ASEAN on "Cross-Straits Relations : Changes and Prospects for the Wider Region"
Talking ASEAN on “Progress and Further Agendas of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)”