General (Retd.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan gave the 27th IISS Fullerton Lecture on 9 December, organised by IISS–Asia and supported by The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.
As the largest archipelagic country in the world, with more than 17,500 islands, 300 ethnic groups and 700 languages, one of Indonesia’s main challenges was to maintain national unity, explained General Luhut. In order to do that, creating a balance of growth and equality was crucial. To this end, Indonesia’s government was focusing resources on developing infrastructure to improve connectivity and lower logistic costs across Indonesia. It was also emphasising the importance of equality, shared prosperity and the importance of human capital development. One of the main targets was to reduce the developmental disparity and inequality of opportunities between the western and eastern parts of Indonesia. These strategies to improve infrastructure, connectivity and human capital were in line with President Joko Widodo’s intention to optimise Indonesia’s potential as a maritime power.
General (Retd.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs. He was Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs from August 2015 to July 2016, Chief of Staff to President Joko Widodo from December 2014 to August 2015, Minister of Trade and Industry under President Abdurrahman Wahid (2000-2001), and Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Singapore during the Reformasi period from 1999 to 2000. He was the top graduate of the Indonesian Armed Forces Academy in 1970, and in 1989 earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from George Washington University, in the United States.
This event was chaired by Dr Tim Huxley, Executive Director of IISS–Asia. It will took place in the Straits Room at The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore.