For 24 years joining as a member of the Asia Pacific economic cooperation forum (APEC), the implications felt by Indonesia were only enjoyed by business people.
“For the small people, it has only felt the positive impact of joining APEC,” said international economic-political analyst Beginda Pakpahan.
The man who holds a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, England, at the beginning of this year, explained the benefits felt by entrepreneurs that they can obtain a special business travel card called the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC).
This card, he said, can be used as a visa to visit APEC economies. It was noted, there were 19 member countries that could be entered with this special card.
According to Beginda, holding a credit card-sized card can save business time in obtaining a visa. ABTC is valid for three years.
“Because this is an economic forum, those who feel the benefits directly from the economic actors. However, now the question is whether small-scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) or non-business people can share the implications,” Beginda said.
The holding of the annual summit between the Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs in the APEC forum only, said Beginda, is not necessarily able to help promote the products and services provided by SME business people.
Even though ideally, he continued, by joining the APEC forum, it is expected that there will be a snowball effect after gaining access to the Asia Pacific market.
“From there, then Indonesia can maximize domestic human resources and make the products of the homeland penetrate into the Asia Pacific market. The effect is that it can contribute income to the domestic economy,” said the man who works as a teacher and researcher at the University of Indonesia is.
Therefore, said Beginda, taking responsibility as chairman of the APEC implementation in 2013, Indonesia has strategic points and must be maximized as well as possible.
“At least by being chairman, Indonesia has the advantage of pushing the agenda to be discussed at this meeting,” he said.
There are three agendas that will be appointed by Indonesia at the 2013 APEC Summit, namely achieving the objectives set out in the Bogor Declaration, technical connectivity among APEC member countries and achieving sustainable and equitable growth.
Indonesia’s involvement in the APEC forum had begun since the beginning of the economic cooperation organization which was formed in 1989. Indonesia is one of 12 countries that have contributed to the birth of APEC.
According to Beginda, Indonesia’s motives are joining APEC, because at that time the intra-Southeast Asian region was not yet large enough. “It is hoped that by including large countries such as the United States and countries can develop trade between Indonesia and other countries in ASEAN,” he said.
Now APEC consists of 19 countries and two government administrations. The membership system that applies within APEC is more flexible and through consensus. “All decisions at APEC are voluntary based,” Beginda said. The 21 member countries will meet on October 1-8 in Nusa Dua, Bali.