Land Transport Authority (LTA) has shown me that the usage of public transportation has brought a lot of benefits for Singapore. I can see that traffic jam is not an issue in Singapore, yet the system is able to meet the population’s demand of transportation. Aside of developing its national transportation lane, I believe that Singapore should also develop its international transportation lane. I’ve read about Singapore’s plan to expand its MRT line to Johor Baru (Malaysia), and I believe that it is beneficial for Singapore. It can give alternative for both Singaporean and Malaysian citizens to travel across both countries, rather than relying on bus or other land vehicles which would be more time-consuming, as well as air transportation which would risk the environment more. If this project is successful, Singapore may expand its MRT line to neighboring islands in Indonesia, such as Batam and Bintan Islands.
I think the transportation system in Singapore would be suitable to be implied in Indonesia; however, it would take time to change the whole system. In Jakarta, there are currently two public transportation system under construction: MRT and monorail (JET). On the other hand, most of Indonesian citizens have their own vehicles these days, and when these projects are done and the public transportation is ready to use, people might be still reluctant to use MRT and JET since they might feel more comfortable when they ride on their own vehicles, rather than riding on public transportation which they have to share with others. Nevertheless, according to what I have learned from LTA, Indonesia could actually impose higher tax on those who own their own vehicles so that they would be reluctant to use private vehicles, and thus use public transportation more.
Personally, the visit to LTA has motivated me more to build transportation system in Indonesia since I’ve been planning to study civil engineering in order to build at least some parts of Indonesian infrastructure.
Visit to Public Utilities Board (PUB) has assured me that in order to be developed, a country doesn’t actually have to own wide range of natural resources. They can actually utilize the resources that they own effectively. Although Singapore doesn’t have as much water resources as Indonesia, they can meet the population’s demand of water by making use of advanced membrane technologies and ultra-violet disinfection. If Indonesia could apply these kinds of technology, it could more that just meet its population’s demand of water, but also the neighboring countries’ demand of water.
Throughout the Summit Dialogue, I learned that healthcare has a strong correlation with a country’s economy. When people get an adequate access to healthcare, they will become more productive, and thus increase the output (real GDP) that a country produces.
GIC and EDB have introduced me to international economics. Although again, Singapore doesn’t have much natural resources, the country is one of the most developed countries in Asia by strengthen their relationships with other countries throughout international investments. Singapore encourages MNCs to invest in Singapore, as well as invests for overseas firms. In that way, Singapore is able to be well-known globally. However, I am still wondering whether foreign exchange rate change always increases the risk of foreign investment because according to what I’ve learned in my Economics text book, the foreign exchange rate change does not always increase the risk of foreign investment. When the covariance between exchange rate changes and the local market returns is sufficiently negative to offset the positive variance of exchange rate changes, exchange rate changes can actually reduce the risk of foreign investment. However, the speaker at GIC told me that exchange rate changes always increase the risk of foreign investment. What could probably happen is that in Singapore, some cases show that foreign exchange rate changes worsen foreign investment.
All in all, let’s build our countries into better nations!
Gita Septiani Ekaputri