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Food nationalism is a temporary phenomenon

Dr Fajar B. Hirawan is director of the Department of Economics, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia). His research focuses on how to improve the global economy. His recent research includes "The Dynamism of Indonesia's Economic Recovery" and "The Role of Investment, Transport Services and Trade in Achieving Food Security in Indonesia: A Structural and Institutional Analysis".

Fajar B. Hirawan:Food nationalism is a temporary phenomenon

1. In the post-pandemic era, how do you view the relationship between China and Indonesia in economic domains, are there any possibilities that China and Indonesia will have a chance to reach further cooperations?

I cannot say that we are already in the post-pandemic era since some countries, including Indonesia, are now dealing with new variants of COVID-19 that more contagious. But, of course, there are so many possibilities for both countries to deepen their relationship in the business and economic sectors. In my opinion, there are at least three key development priorities that Indonesia and China could focus on, namely re-industrialization, connectivity, and innovation. These three areas could become a hint for future economic cooperation between two countries.

2. There’s a word created after the pandemic which is called “food nationalism” , what do you think of this phenomenon and how can we improve this circumstances?

We know that the pandemic severely hits most countries in the world. They are still struggling to recover in multiple aspects, including the socio-economic aspect. The pandemic situation has forced us to limit our mobility within the countries and even internationally. Thus, the pandemic has pushed us to be more inward-looking. “Food nationalism” might be one of them. Nevertheless, I think this kind of situation is only temporary, and we will enhance international trading activity sooner or later after the pandemic situation getting better. I still believe that with global cooperation and multilateralism, thus food nationalism might be only temporary, and then as a nation, we still believe that trade can make everyone better off.

3. The globalization and world economic have been striken by the covid-19, SMEs are also victims of the recession. How these enterprises survive even restore their companies in the effective and solid way?

Of course, this pandemic has resulted in either winners or losers in the economy, including SMEs. Not all SMEs are severely hit by the pandemic. Some of them are survived or even successful in expanding their business amid pandemics where the mobility of people is limited. The information, communication, and technology (ICT) sector have helped the survivor and the winner because they can adapt and adopt technology for their business. The main issues why some SMEs cannot survive are because of the distortion in their cash flow due to enormous financial burden, have no agility to transform to another sector, and have no capacity in using technology and digital platform. So, I am sure that the SMEs could survive or even expand their business amidst and post-pandemic by solving those issues.

4. The interdependence between China and other Asia countries are weaken or strenthen after the pandemic? Will you illustrate your points with some examples?

I think it is strengthened in the midst of and post-pandemic. The need for a vaccine to improve human antibodies to prevent COVID-19 is one example of why the global world needs China, especially the Asian region. The role of China and other countries in providing vaccines to the Asian region has shown us that global cooperation, multilateralism, and humanities still exist.

Collator: Luo Jing



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