Illustrative image (Source: AFP/VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia is increasing its national competitive edge in anticipation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will take shape at the end of the year.

Former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda initiated the establishment of the ASEAN Community on the basis of three pillars: politics-security, economics and culture-society in 2003.

In 2012, the Indonesian Government set up the national Secretariat, which is responsible for ASEAN-Indonesia issues – for example, narrowing the development gap between Indonesia and other ASEAN member states.

One year later, a national committee was established to help the Government propose measures to make the best use of opportunities and benefits from the AEC while overcoming difficulties and challenges.

The Indonesian Ministry of Industry drew out a roadmap for potentially developing sectors such as electronics, automobiles, cement, garment-textiles and footwear for domestic markets. It also looked at agriculture, seafood, home decoration, food and beverages for Southeast Asia.

Mohammad Anthoni, a lecturer from Indonesia’s Paramadina University, said the central government and local authorities have made preparations to supply information about the AEC to businesses and people, as well as seek to improve the competitiveness of locally made products.

Indonesia now has 55,000 small-and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 60 percent of the country’s economy.-VNA