Youth, Digital Economy Key To ASEAN Growth, Says Indonesian Finance Minister

The youth and digital economy are important drivers to ensure Southeast Asia becomes the epicentrum of growth, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has said.

Speaking at the ASEAN Youth Dialogue (AYD) 2023 on Development for Sustainable Development Goals on April 11, she said that the potential is even more promising with the demographic dividend where one-third of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s population are young people.

The minister said ASEAN’s digital economy is projected to reach 2 trillion USD and will contribute around 28% to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In order to optimise the potential, she said the region should encourage innovation, promote entrepreneurial spirit and encourage social responsibility.

Retno pointed out that innovation by the youth has played an important role in overcoming challenges in various sectors in times of crisis, according to VNA.

In fact, the youth have a better opportunity to create a beneficial impact on the people in the region if the entrepreneurial spirit continues to be promoted.

She cited that as agents of change, the youth must have a spirit of social responsibility and that great empathy is needed to ensure that no one is left behind, especially marginalised communities.

Currently, there are over 52 unicorns in ASEAN, where Indonesia has two decacorns and nine unicorns.

About 60 young people from ASEAN member nations and Timor Leste attended the three-day AYD until April 13 to exchange ideas and plan recommendations regarding digital development.

Their recommendations will be submitted to ASEAN Leaders at the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, on May 11.

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