There are few nations that have advanced so rapidly in so many ways and presented such scale of opportunity and challenge for Canada as Indonesia. This transformation, in conjunction with that of Southeast Asia writ large, has been under way for decades. Yet, until recently, Indonesia has received only sporadic attention from senior policy makers, all but a small group of committed business executives in a limited range of sectors and leaders of the academic and research community.
In late May 2015, CIGI, in partnership with the prestigious Centre for Strategic and International Studies, held a forum in Jakarta to investigate the potential for a quantum step forward in Canada and Indonesia’s relationship and determine what needs to be done to get there. The forum involved more than 60 senior individuals from Canada and Indonesia drawn from business, think tanks, academia and civil society, including experts in various disciplines, as well as retired and serving government and military officials. This report is drawn principally from the forum and related discussions, but has also benefited from research conducted before and after the forum and from the feedback of other individuals and groups not present in Jakarta, including the members of an advisory group.
This report sets out why Indonesia is relevant to Canada, highlights the challenges and opportunities we face in pursing our relationship and assesses the drivers underlying our bilateral ties and international engagement. Above all, this report seeks to describe the innovation and commitment that are needed if the gap between performance and potential is to be closed. The report concludes with a summary of what Canada’s priorities should be moving forward with Indonesia, followed by a series of recommendations for concrete steps and actions.