Welcome to Jakarta


Jul  14th

As we welcome delegates to the 12th WIEF, we also invite you to experience the vibrant life of our host country. Here in Jakarta, business comes alive amid busy city streets intertwined with local cuisine, culture and customs.

The capital city of Indonesia has gone by many names. It was called Sunda Kelapa during the period of the Kingdom of Sunda, the last Hindu kingdom of West Java, before the Portuguese took over the flourishing port in 1527. When Prince Fatahillah attacked the Portuguese and conquered the harbour, the city was renamed Jayakarta—Old Javanese for “victorious deed”—during the brief period of the Banten Sultanate.

Under the Dutch it was known as Batavia and became the capital of the Dutch East Indies. The Dutch decided to build walls around the city after repeated attacks by Sultan Agung, king of the Mataram Sultanate. The harbour prospered and soon its population was booming with Indonesians and Chinese. The city was then renamed Jakarta when the Japanese arrived and ended the Dutch colonial rule on 9 March 1942, and its name has since remained unchanged. The city is now officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta.

Located on the northwest coast of the most populous island of Java, Jakarta has an estimated population of 10.2 million people as of 2014 and is one of the most-rapidly expanding cities in the world. The official metropolitan area, Jabodetabek—a name derived from the initial syllables of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi—is the second largest metropolitan area in the world. The bustling city is a melting pot of Indonesian society and is steeped in history, culture, tradition and colours, with the Javanese, Native Jakarta/Betawi, Sudanese, Chinese, Batak, Minagkabau, Malays and many others thriving in harmony.

Indonesia is the largest emerging economy in Southeast Asia and Java, especially the greater Jakarta area and Sumatra, contributes more than 80 per cent to the country’s total GDP. Jakarta’s economy is highly reliant on service sectors such as banking, trading, financial services and manufacturing. The region’s main exports include vehicles and parts, jewellery, machinery, electronic devices, garments, knitted goods, fish, shrimp, plastic and plastic goods.

While the 2009 financial crisis slowed the economy, the Jakarta region showed a 6.48 per cent increase in economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to 6.12 per cent recorded in the same period in 2014. In an effort to further boost Jakarta’s and Indonesia’s recovery and growth, in February this year President Joko Widodo pledged to open Indonesia’s economy to foreign investment. He revealed plans to open up some 30 subsectors of the economy to foreign investors for the first time. It was also announced in April that the Indonesian Government intends to cut corporate income tax by a fifth to attract more business and investments to the country.

Jakarta: The city and its infrastructure

Although it now bears its fair share of modern skyscrapers, Jakarta’s architectural heritage has also been shaped by the many powerful colonial masters who ruled Indonesia before it gained its independence in 1945. High-rise buildings are scattered around central Jakarta, as are shopping malls, luxurious starred hotels, state-of-the-art offices and upper-class residences.

As one of the most densely-populated cities in Asia, Jakarta is infamous for its traffic jams, which are expected to get worse as the population and number of cars increase. To combat the problem, the government has begun constructing the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit(MRT) to improve the public transport system in the city. Jakarta also has a bus rapid transit system that helps ease traffic congestion.

To exacerbate the situation, the annual monsoon season brings with it floods, and Jakarta is said to be slowly sinking due to climate change. An estimated 80 per cent of the capital city will lie below sea levels by 2030 if the flooding situation is left unchecked. The solution by the government is to construct a giant wall around the city’s bay to prevent the rising sea waters.

But mega projects aside, there are also plans to harness the power of social media to monitor the effects of flooding in the region. Launched in 2015, PetaJakarta.org (Jakarta Map) is a collaboration between the SMART Infrastructure Facility at Australia’s University of Wollongong and Jakarta’s Disaster Management Agency.

The goal of PetaJakarta is to crowdsource flood-related information across Jakarta in real-time and make it publicly available via Twitter. The platform also incorporates flood reports and official government data such as river gauge readings and flood heights in a single interface for all to see. This information helps citizens to brace themselves for the severity of flooding and emergency agencies to identify critical zones.

Business and leisure in Jakarta

Participants of the 12th WIEF will no doubt gain new-found knowledge and insights to the business industry and potential business partners. However, it would be a waste to pass up the opportunity to discover the bustling city of Jakarta while staying in this vibrant city. Make the best of your trip with this itinerary that balances time at the forum and leisure.

Visiting the largest mosque in Southeast Asia
Once you’ve checked into your hotel and settled down, make your way to Istiqlal Mosque at Jalan Taman Wijaya Kusuma. Istiqlal, which means ‘independence’ in Arabic, was constructed to commemorate Indonesia’s struggle for independence from the Dutch. The national mosque can accommodate up to 120,000 people and has a 45-metre diametre dome supported by 12 columns. Across the mosque, lies the neo-gothic Jakarta Cathedral, which was built in 1901. The two places of worship are a symbol of different faiths existing together in harmony.

Location: Jalan Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Jakarta 1071 0, Indonesia.

MONAS, the obelisk of independence  
About 1.5 kilometres away from Istiqlal Mosque, lies the most prominent landmark in Jakarta, the celebrated National Monument. Also known by locals as MONAS, the 137-metre high monument was commissioned by President Soekarno in 1961 and was opened to the public in 1975. The landmark represents the Indonesians’ resolve to achieve independence and the crowning of their efforts in the Proclamation of Independence in August 1945. The flame atop of the obelisk is made of bronze and weighs a staggering 14.5 tonnes and coated with 35 kilograms of gold. The top of the monument can be reached via a lift, while situated at the base of the monument is the National History Museum, exhibiting dioramas depicting each era of Indonesia.

Location: Jl. Silang Monas, New Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Opening hours: 8:30am-5:00pm (closed on every Monday at the end of the month)

Scour for some local delicacies
The day is not complete without some local food. It’s time to try out some of Indonesia’s sumptuous dishes. Recommended street foods like martabak malabar, a folded pancake-like dish stuffed with eggs, meat and vegetables; gado-gado, a vegetable salad drenched in classic peanut sauce; gorengan, which literally translates to fried things; otak-otak, a fish cake that’s also available in Malaysia and Singapore, are all a must-try when you’re in Jakarta. Other foods like soto, a traditional meat soup found across Indonesia; bakso, a savoury meatball noodle soup; sop buntut, or oxtail soup; nasi padang, a variety of pre-cooked dishes served with steam rice that originated from Padang City, and many more will satisfy your taste buds and leave you in a pleasant food coma.

Welcome to the 12th WIEF
Start things off with a bang by attending the opening session of the 12th WIEF (9:30am-12:00pm) and then stay on for the ministerial panel discussing the AEC Blueprint 2025 (12:30pm-4:00pm). The panel will delve into issues of economic integration between ASEAN member states and what the region can achieve by 2025. Another session to look out for is the Global Economic Outlook (4:15pm-5:45pm) talk which will discuss consumer-driven frameworks, a new trend that’s fueled by peer-to-peer networks and DIY platforms. Will such an economy shape the next decade?

Dress to impress
At night, put on your best suit or dress for WIEF’s Gala Dinner (7:30pm-9:30pm) at the Jakarta Convention Center. A night of extravagance and entertainment, you’ll want to look your best as you mingle with your fellow WIEF attendees.

Future of Business Industries
Begin the new day with a glimpse into the potential future of the business industry. The CEO Panel (10:30am to 12:00pm) titled, Disruptive Technology and the Rise of New Industries, will discuss the unprecedented growth of advanced robotics, artificial intelligence and Internet technologies that dramatically change the way business is conducted. It will also highlight how companies can stay ahead of the curve and the future prospects of modern businesses. Happening simultaneously is the Masterclass, Achieving Synergies between Corporations and Startups, which will highlight the increasing collaborations between corporations and start-ups. Another Masterclass, Innovation in Education: Preparing for the Next 10 Years (4:15pm to 5:45pm) will focus on how to improve the education system to prepare for future demands in certain business industries.

Cooking up a storm
Feast your eyes on a live cooking demo (12:00pm-1:00pm) by Michelin Star chef from Spain, Paco Morales, as he cooks up a storm of gastronomical proportions. The talented chef will also talk about his discovery of the culinary heritage of Al-Andalus and the potential of halal haute cuisine.

Creative convergence
Today also marks the beginning of WIEF’s two-day MOCAfest, a marketplace of creative arts festival that celebrates the creative and cultural sectors of the global economy and their roles in empowering young people economically. The festival brings together artists and audiences to showcase performances, masterclasses, dialogues and networking sessions.

Don’t miss the Ideapad session (2:30pm-4:00pm) where the stage is given to selected talents to pitch their innovative projects to a panel of judges. While you’re there, try out the LinkedUp Lounge System, a business match-making app that can be used at the LinkedUp lounge.

In the evening, catch the sharing circle between artists, managers, businessmen and cultural producers who will be discussing and sharing their thoughts on the nature of the creative industry and understanding business models (4:30pm-5:30pm).

Get pumped with MOCAfest’s Soundscapes Concert
It’s time to let your hair down with the MOCAfest’s Soundscapes concert and immerse yourself in the wonderful performances! The MOCAfest Soundscapes Concert begins at 8:00pm to 10:00pm, and showcases the many talents of young people from all over the world. From contemporary, traditional, to a combination of both, the concert is a creative bonanza for the audience and also a platform for artists to express themselves.

Improving credit access for SMEs
SME holders—wondering how to improve your credit access or receive sustainable finance for your business? Look no further. The panel discussion focusing on restructuring SMEs and improving credit access (9:00am to 10:30am) will touch on the various credit access options available to SMEs and discuss conducive structures for SMEs to receive sustainable financing.

Running concurrently is MOCAfest’s panel discussion (9:30am to 10:30am) on Islamic cinema, how it challenges ideology, and its implication on Indonesia’s culture.

Unwind with a relaxing massage
Exhausted? After the three-day forum, pamper yourself with a massage. Open daily from 10:00am to 9:00pm, Bersih Sehat, which translates to ‘clean and healthy’ in Indonesian, is about 2.5 kilometres away from the Convention Center and is a haven for those who prefer a tranquil place to unwind and loosen stiff muscles. It’s recommended to make an appointment in advance as the place is quite popular.

Location: Jl. Gunawarman 43 – Jl. Pakubuwono VI no. 43, Kebayoran Baru, Jaksel, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Light shopping at Pacific Place
Planning to do some shopping before leaving Jakarta? Approximately 1.7 kilometres away from the Jakarta Convention Center, Pacific Place is a shopping centre that will cater to all your shopping needs. The sleek and modern building houses assorted brands like Guess, Prada, Montblanc, TAG Heuer and so forth; an ideal place for purchasing high-end goods or just indulging in a round of window-shopping.

Location: Jalan Jend Sudirman Kav 52-53, Jakarta,Indonesia.

Jakarta, being the second largest metropolitan area in the world, still has countless hidden gems and undiscovered paths scattered all over, if possible, arrange another trip to fully explore the metropolis and soak in the history and culture of Indonesia.