OECD: Indonesia’s Membership Quest 

Indonesia’s quest to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) represents a significant milestone for economic prosperity, offering increased trade and investment opportunities, political credibility, and global reputation. Essentially, Indonesia aims to secure a place amongst the exclusive “developed countries’ club”1. Recent transformations have propelled Indonesia from the ‘Fragile Five’ to the ‘Top Five’, signifying impressive progress and an accelerated growth trajectory. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that Indonesia will be one of the two fastest-growing top-20 economies for the next six years (2023-2028)2. With the fourth-largest population in the world, Indonesia seeks to assert itself globally. OECD membership could further enhance this significant growth period through the OECD’s network: economic dynamics, access to knowledge, investors, traders, and financial markets. 


Indonesia’s bid for OECD membership faces scepticism due to requirement disparities. Its GDP per capita falls $38,473 short of the OECD average ($43,261)1, over nine times the amount of Indonesia’s. With approximately 200 policies that would need to be amended to meet membership requirements3. Indonesia faces an ambitious challenge. Joining the OECD would require more than just securing membership; it would require an ongoing unwavering commitment into the foreseeable future. On the other hand, Indonesia, as the largest ASEAN economy, could offer the OECD valuable connections to the untapped “Global South” and reinforce its role as a guardian of the “international order”4. While this request is still met with doubt, the OECD may see the potential benefits. Indonesia must await the roadmap from the 38 OECD member nations, with a discussion taking place in late September. The accession process, however, can take up to eight years3, which, if nothing else, allows Indonesia ample opportunity to prepare.

[1] West, John. (2023a), “Why Indonesia Thinks It Belongs in the OECD.” Asia Times, September 11. Retrieved: https://asiatimes.com/2023/09/why-indonesia-thinks-it-belongs-in-the-oecd/.

[2] The Economist. (2023), “Which will grow faster: India or Indonesia?” March 29. Retrieved: https://www.economist.com/international/2023/03/29/which-will-grow-faster-india-or-indonesia.

[3] Saputra, Bayu. (2023), “Indonesia’s hope of becoming a developed country by joining OECD.” Antara News, September 11. Retrieved: https://en.antaranews.com/news/292257/indonesias-hope-of-becoming-a-developed-country-by-joining-oecd.

[4] West, John. (2023b), “Indonesia’s quest to join the OECD and become a high-income country”. East Asia Forum, September 10. Retrieved: https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2023/09/10/indonesias-quest-to-join-the-oecd-and-become-a-high-income-country/


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