Developing Indonesian Economy: Lesson Learn from China

By: Yuni Suryati


In October 2014, the International Monetary Fund has named China as the number one world economic superpower. IMF measure gross domestic product and purchasing power parity/PPP according to the context of each country. From the calculations of this international financial institutions, at the end of 2014 China controlled 16.4 percent of the purchasing power of the world with a GDP of USD 17.6 trillion. While US over the past century almost dominate the world economy, should be willing to abdicate by PPP 16.2 per cent of GDP of USD 17.4 trillion.

Although was crowned as the world’s largest economy, but China has not become the richest country in the world. Therefore, the method of the IMF was not comparing GDP per capita per citizen of China and the US. IMF methods doubted by some analysts. The purchasing power of every country is not necessarily equivalent. Because the prices of commodities in China and the US is different. Therefore, the US is still the largest in the mainstream, by any measure. China’s status does not depict the actual reality. [i]

There is still a debate among analysts of the world economy, but it is undeniable that China are very advanced in terms of its economy. According to former Finance Minister Bambang Brojonegoro, in terms of GDP, China is number two in the world, and Indonesia number 15 and has the potential to be number 10.[ii] Indonesia could emulate China’s success in developing its economy.


Thirty years ago the Indonesian economy is better than China. However, China’s economy was able to grow so fast. Evidently, China does not has to wait until 2030, China’s economy managed to defeat the US economy. Through its economic power, China is not only emerged as the Asian super power, but also in the world. The reasons why does China could grow so fast are as follows:

First, Combating corruption. The government of China is very committed to combat corruption since the 1978’s and began to show the results in the 1990s. Since corruption plummeted, foreign investment began to enter China. There are at least three major target of the Chinese government anti-corruption movement, namely the eradication of economic corruption, political corruption, and combating bureaucratic corruption. President Xi Jinping has made a number of consolidation measures oriented policies in order to ensure stability of the national leadership transition at the Communist Party of China, government and military can run safely and successfully. At the party level, President Xi Jinping seeks to build positive image of the party cadres. As the Secretary General of the CCP, President Xi Jinping was determined to bring to justice the official/senior and ruling party cadres (tigers) and petty officers (flies), which proved to be involved in corruption cases.

Second, improving the quality of education. The Chinese Cultural Revolution created the momentum for China to improve the quality of education. Chinese leaders were aware that education is the backbone to reach a more advanced modern China. China launched a nine-year compulsory education program. The Chinese government also intensified program of vocational education and skills training for its citizens in the remote areas. On the other hand, higher education, the Chinese government encourages its citizens to learn from various educational institutions abroad. Meanwhile, professors from abroad are invited to Chinese universities to work and to create research centers of science and knowledge.

Third, prioritize the development of the legal system. In contrast to a number of other Asian countries that emphasizes the development of democracy, China actually prefer to build their legal sector. In Beijing government, without a good legal system and law enforcement, all sectors including the economy and business sector, will not running well. Therefore, over the past two decades, China continue to organize the building of its legal system, particularly laws that are needed in managing and regulating market economic system that continues to grow.

Fourth, coastal and rural infrastructure development. In addition to boost the productivity of citizens, availability of infrastructure will also increase the economic growth. With good infrastructure, the flow of people, goods and services will take place rapidly in all regions across China, which could stimulate economic growth


Indonesia has a large area, coupled with natural resources and a large population. Indonesia actually has a chance to be able to reach the success of the economy as it has been achieved in China today. The key is the willingness of the government to implement four issues as the Chinese government has done, namely combating corruption, improving the quality of education, law enforcement and building the infrastructure of coastal and rural areas. If these areas can be realized, within the next 10-20 years, Indonesia will undoubtedly also transformed into a major power of the world economy.



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