Indonesia hosts Asia Pacific conference on Industry 4.0

Countries of the Asia Pacific have joined together in a commitment to harness the potential of the Industrial Revolution 4.0. This commitment focuses on collaboratively implementing strategic programs throughout the region, aimed at advancing economic prosperity through technological developments such as automation and data exchange. According to Director General of the Ministry of Industry Ngakan Timur Antara, “If countries in the Asia Pacific region do not think regionally, they will lose opportunities [through] the developments of Industry 4.0”.

Hosted in collaboration with the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation, the Government of Indonesia worked to deliver the first ever Regional Conference on Industrial Development (RCID) on 8-9 November 2018 in Bali. The conference aims bring together representatives from government, industry and academia to share policies, knowledge and expertise related to Industry 4.0.

Marked by the Making Indonesia 4.0 Roadmap, Indonesia’s particular focus for the conference is building a globally competitive manufacturing industry. Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto believes that Industry 4.0 is crucial in improving Indonesia’s competitiveness on a global scale. Within this, he identified three key focuses: investment, technology, and skills and training.

Capacity building is at the forefront of this. To date, the Indonesian Ministry of Industry has launched a vocational education program to link vocational high schools (SMK) with industry across Indonesia. “As many as 1,753 SMKs have been involved in the program… We have to prepare skilled human resources, especially in the face of the digital era”, said Ministry of Industry’s Secretary General Haris Munandar.

Airlangga hopes that the conference will allow Indonesia to share its knowledge surrounding skills and training with other nations within the Asia Pacific region, particularly in relation to Industry 4.0.

Thomas Lembong of the Indonesia Investment Coordination Board echoed Airlangga’s sentiments, saying that investment in industry at both national and international levels are necessary for progress, and should be used in implementing digital infrastructure, empowering SMEs, improving sustainability standards and raising the quality of skills and training. Indonesia is estimated to become one of the top ten largest economies by 2030, and this conference served to create space for cross-country conversations in order to further facilitate that growth.

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