YOGYAKARTA - Policy for taking part in world trade is an important way to enhance the competitiveness of a nation. However, policy alone is not enough. It should be noted also the elements of domestic productivity, skilled human resources, infrastructure development and better governance.
Those are several matters emerging in the International Conference Enhancing Indonesia's Competitiveness in Contemporary Trade taking place at UGM Graduate School, Monday (3/10). Present as speakers were, among others, ASEAN Foundation Executive Director, Dr. Makarim Wibisono, Deputy Director General of WTO, Harsha V. Singh, and Professor of Law from University of Indonesia, Prof. Erman Rajagukguk.
Makarim Wibisono said that Indonesia would be able to improve the nation's competitiveness if it can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of bureaucracy. One of them is to eradicate corruption. "Better bureaucracy is a major strength," he said. However, it is also important to create conditions for healthy and dynamic competition. It can begin by setting a more fair competition and promoting the business climate.
The same thing was also delivered by Harsha Singh. According to Harsha, one important step to enhance the competitiveness of nations is by removing or reducing trade barriers. Policy of reducing the trade barriers will lead to the creation of better trade and further allow productive enterprises to expand exports and overall productivity. "It is proven that companies which do exports are usually the most productive companies in the country. This also means that the better export opportunities bring incentives for companies to improve competitiveness," he said.
Professor of Law Faculty of University of Indonesia, Prof. Erman Rajagukguk, said that Indonesia's competitiveness is still weak due to domestic factors, such as lack of infrastructure, high cost economy and lack of legal certainty. In the field of infrastructure, Indonesia lacks of infrastructure, including highways, railways, ports and power plants. In addition, high cost economic burden in business activities in Indonesia is influenced by the behavior of corruption, legal and regulatory uncertainty, making Indonesian products not competitive both in domestic and international markets. "Law certainty in Indonesia does not always exist. Legal uncertainty in the elements of legal substance, law enforcement, and legal culture is also a major factor causing high cost economy," he said.