Indonesia: Innovation Is Key for The Country’s Future

Editorial: Innovation Is Key for The Country’s Future
February 20, 2013

In today’s highly competitive business environment, innovation is crucial for getting ahead and staying ahead. Indonesia has done well economically in recent years, but it has lacked a real drive to push its research and development to the next level.

It is in this light that we must view the $300 million investment by US multinational conglomerate General Electric. By announcing that it will build a human resources development center and infrastructure facilities and establish a rural health care program in Indonesia, GE has shown a firm commitment to this country.

GE chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt, who was in Jakarta on Tuesday, noted that over the past two years the company’s business has grown strongly in Indonesia, one of the world’s most rapidly expanding economies.

“We see a great opportunity to support the country in energy and health infrastructure technology development and its human resources for sustainable economic growth,” Immelt said.

It is absolutely necessary for Indonesia to attract this kind of investment if it wants to climb up the value chain.

By increasing its innovation, the country will be better able to compete in the global arena. More importantly, it will help raise living standards across the archipelago.

Indonesia must encourage greater innovation within its corporate sector and its services industries. By pioneering research in health care, for example, it may produce new drugs that can save countless lives or develop new medical equipment that can detect illnesses.

General Electric has long been a leader in this field, and it is heartening to hear the company speak of investing in innovation and a human capital development center. Such facilities will put the country in good stead for many years to come.

Indonesian companies should follow suit.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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