With a young population and strong economic growth in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has emerged as one of Asia’s most attractive destinations for foreign investment. The archipelagic country‘s efforts to improve the nation’s investment and business environment has increased its appeal for international businesses looking to establish a Southeast Asian presence.
Once again, the Indonesian government and business community have put their best foot forward, hosting the tenth annual Indonesia Night on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings 2020 in Davos. The flagship soirée which saw a turnout of over 600 guests was held at the elegant Garden Hall ballroom of Morosani Schweizerhof Hotel.
Guests were greeted with dancers in the eye-catching Malang Flower Carnival costumes at the welcome reception – a wonderful photo opportunity for the guests. Later in the evening they also performed an upbeat Dadas Bracelet Dance from the Dayak tribe of Central Kalimantan, as well as a ceremonial Tor Tor Dance from the Batak tribe of North Sumatra. These performances were excellent showcases of Indonesian culture, with dance used to celebrate important milestones in one’s life.
H.E. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, delivered an opening address, calling for governments and the private sector to work closely for the country’s economic and social advancement.
The event also saw support from senior officials from Indonesia and guests of honour, including H.E. Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs; H.E. Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communication and Information Technology; H.E. Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Minister of Industry; H.E. Argus Suparmanto, Minister of Trade, and H.E. Bahlil Lahadalia, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, graced the event as well. In his remarks, he praised Indonesia’s initiative to introduce its diverse culture of the archipelago in Davos, and its commitment to host the upcoming ASEAN-WEF Forum slated to be held in Jakarta in July 2020. He also expressed his appreciation of WEF’s longtime friendship with Indonesia. Professor Schwab, who was present with his spouse, Hilde Schwab, also adorned a traditional East Nusa Tenggara Rote hat (“Ti’I langga”) and handwoven Rote scarf, as a token of respect.
Another memorable highlight of the evening was the Gamelan ensemble. The Sion-based group consisted of 12 musicians, with players ranging from 6 to 30 years old. Under the artistic direction of Mr Timothée Coppey, the group used indigenous percussion instruments made of bronze or brass, such as the metallophones, dongs, and drums, to perform traditional Javanese ensemble music which predates the ancient Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms of Central Java. The musicians have been performing under the directorship of Madame Nicole Coppey, the founder of educational musical arts school Un, Deux, Trios, Musiques. The Swiss national was awarded an honorary distinction in 2013 by the Indonesian Ambassador to Switzerland for her work in promoting Indonesian traditional music and arts in Switzerland.
In line with this year’s maritime theme, guests were treated to a sumptuous spread of seafood from one of Jakarta’s most renowned restaurant, Bunga Rampai. Mouthwatering dishes included all-time favourites like Grilled Prawns with Manadonese Spices, Smoked Tuna with Balado Relish, and Beef Rendang. The meal was finished on a sweet note with honeycomb cakes from Medan and hot ginger tea.
Indonesian cuisine is a diverse collection of regional culinary traditions from more than 300 ethnic groups across the archipelago. In their culinary artistry, Bunga Rampai had translated these flavours into a feast for the senses – a perfect representation of Indonesia’s diversity, its rich culture, and warm hospitality.