Education Is the Best Investment: Finance Minister

The Jakarta Globe – Jakarta. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati delivered a public lecture to recipients of the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education, or LPDP, scholarship at the Indonesian Embassy in the Hague, Netherlands, on Sunday (13/11), addressing the importance of education and the effect Donald Trump’s shock victory in the recent United States presidential election might have on the global economy.

“The US has the biggest economy in the world, and with its size, it will always have an effect on the global economy, including on Indonesia,” Sri Mulyani told more than 250 Indonesian students gathered at the embassy, as quoted in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

As to how Trump’s election will impact the rest of the world, the former World Bank managing director said Indonesia must at least try to anticipate the “Trump effect” in the next few years.

“The US has a lot of influence over geopolitics and the global economy. A good country should be able to anticipate any [economic] crisis that might be coming out of the US,” Sri Mulyani said.

“One thing we can do is to keep our domestic demand strong,” she added.

To overcome recent global economic slowdown, Sri Mulyani said the government has been focusing on strengthening three main sectors: human resource investment, infrastructure development and bureaucratic reform.

Education is the best investment

The 54-year-old Sri Mulyani initiated LPDP during her first stint as finance minister in 2005-2010 under former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Until today, LPDP is still managed by the Finance Ministry.

LPDP recipients get full backing from the government to earn post-graduate degrees in both local and overseas universities.

“Education is one of the most important elements in developing a country. It’s one of the most important requirements for a healthy economy. How good a country is doing can be seen in the quality of its education,” she said.