Anderson Tanoto’s Views on WEF East Asia and Future Progress in Indonesia

RGE Director Anderson Tanoto has recently been interviewed by CNBC to talk about the improving perspectives on future progress in Indonesia, as outlined at the recent World Economic Forum.

Taking a positive approach towards the current state of the country’s infrastructure, economy and efforts for attracting foreign continuously expanding local communities, Mr. Tanoto has emphasized the goals the country has already achieved, while talking about future plans for industry expansion.


Improved Infrastructure

One of the most important aspects that relate to both the well-being of the people in the area and the smooth operation of potential investors has to do with infrastructural growth.

The local government has been successful in putting into motion certain elements of growth, culminating with their vision of 35,000MW in terms of electricity production in the next few years. Mr. Tanoto has also pointed out that the RGE Group and their partners in the industry sector have already managed to build more than 3,000 km of roads in rural areas, where new and improved roads are extremely important.

He also stated that, while the prospect of building thousands of kilometers of roads and improving the electric grid can seem difficult at first, only the first steps are actually a problem. Sustainable infrastructural progress, however, backed by both industry and government leaders, have the possibility to turn these visions into reality within the next 3-7 years.


The Political Agenda in Indonesia

When it comes to politics, the WEF has proven that the Indonesian government and President Jokowi have the best intention for the country’s future growth, both in terms of building better infrastructure and addressing all the other challenges that people are facing today.

According to Anderson Tanoto, the situation is actually much more promising than most people would admit; as he has stated during the interview, “the politics in Indonesia have to be seen from the ground up.” Despite challenges related to the economy and infrastructure, confidence in the area is quite high and strong changes are expected, as many of the political figures currently in the government are younger individuals in their 30s and 40s.

The first concrete proof of the remarkable potential of the country is expected to be realized in just a few years, as the Indonesian economy holds strong and the government is willing to set changes in place that will set in motion the initiative for reaching the necessary sustainable goals.


Commodities and the Economy

Mr. Tanoto has emphasized the fact that any temporary setbacks when it comes to commodities and the local economy need to be viewed as cyclical and that potential investors will gain far more by looking at the overall picture for the next 3 years.

Also, while the currency is fluctuating, risk management plans are in place, as groups like RGE have a powerful strategy for managing loans in both domestic and foreign currencies; the company also has strong treasury teams operating in Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong.

As Anderson Tanoto finally pointed out, the demographics and macro-economic environment in Indonesia show a promising future and prospects are quite high for the next few years.

Growing Crops, Growing the Community: Sukanto Tanoto empowers locals with Community Programmes

The Remarkable Benefits of Healthcare Initiatives Facilitated by the Tanoto Foundation

Through its most recent philanthropic endeavor, the Tanoto Foundation has partnered up with RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper) – one of the foundation’s corporate partners also linked to well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sukanto Tanoto – to create new opportunities for improved healthcare in the Gunung Sari village in Riau.

The program sought to train medical cadres in the area, and achieved great success throughout the community, reflecting once more on the RGE Group and the Tanoto Foundation’s concern for the community.


Training for Healthcare Personnel

The main goal of the program was to provide quality, professional training for local medical staff, while also providing the community with assistance geared toward facilitating simple, routine activities for helping people living around the operational areas of PT. RAPP.

All assistance was provided through a health clinic located in Gunung Sahilan, and one of the major activities had to do with assisting mothers in receiving health support – as part of a larger initiative towards helping to decrease the numbers of child, infant and childbirth deaths in rural areas like the Gunung Sari village.

As an additional bonus, the program also brought numerous benefits geared toward improving the community’s well-being. Food packages were provided for families in need, and services such as free circumcision were also on the agenda, ensuring that disadvantaged families could still benefit from them.


Community Response

The community responded in an extremely positive manner to this remarkable gesture made by the two organizations that helped them realize there are still people out there who actually care about making a difference and fighting poverty. Local members of the community have expressed gratitude and great admiration for both RAPP and the Tanoto Foundation, while also pointing out many of the other advantages that these institutions have brought over time.

Aside from this health program, others have also been facilitated in the past. What’s more, the area has enjoyed quite a lot of attention from the Tanoto Foundation and from PT. RAPP, through projects for improving education and granting scholarships to local children, as well as support for infrastructural development.

The head of the clinic at Gunung Sahilan was also extremely supportive of the endeavor and voiced her hope that further assistance can be given in the long run through continual support and clinical training, so that the children in the area can receive better treatment in the following weeks, months and years.


Long Term Goals and Plans

This type of training program is part of a constant initiative that Sukanto Tanoto and the Tanoto Foundation are hoping to increase over the next few years. Although the mortality rates and health risks in Indonesian rural areas have subsided over the past few decades, they are still alarmingly high, and the fact that a large portion of the country’s inhabitants are still living below the national poverty line is definitely not an encouraging fact.

Nevertheless, due to efforts such as these growing in number, there is quite a lot of hope that the situation in areas like the Gunung Sari village can drastically improve in the next few years.

Growing Crops, Growing the Community: Sukanto Tanoto empowers locals with Community Programmes

Sukanto Tanoto’s Initial Rise Towards Success: A Young New Business Leader

Sukanto Tanoto was still quite young when he was forced to spend less time at school and focus more on helping his family with their business. Prior to his father’s health problems, young Sukanto’s parents continued to encourage his education, despite the local political unrest in the country that caused road blocks and sparked danger for many of the local inhabitants.

Sukanto Tanoto

Taking Over the Family Business

When his father suffered a minor stroke, Sukanto Tanoto stepped up to take a leadership role in the family business, working hard to do the management work that his father previously carried out, handling invoices, receipts and various other types of documents.

By typing, he was able to continue learning Bahasa Indonesian, and he soon realized just how vital your education can be when you’re trying to become successful in the business world. Amidst constantly-growing unrest, however, Chinese schools were forced to close, and the young business leader soon had to decide to dedicate all his efforts towards managing and improving the family business.

The Start of a Successful Business

In 1966, Sukanto Tanoto’s father closed the shop and provided young Sukanto with the remaining stock of parts, so that, soon after, he would be able to open his very own spare parts business. In January of 1967, this dream became reality, as the aspiring entrepreneur used the knowledge and resources he gained by managing his family business to begin his own endeavors in Medan.

At the age of only 17, young Mr. Tanoto started working full time on managing his business with only 4 employees and about $30,000, mainly gained through spare parts inventory.

It was incredibly hard work. Together, the team worked very closely and coordinated each action with precision. For 15 hours a day, they dedicated their entire time to managing all the tasks that needed to be performed at the spare parts store and, despite all the hard work, spirits remained high, since they basically worked together as a family.

Nevertheless, with more and more foreigners arriving in Indonesia, all that work paid off and business was better than ever. Just three years after beginning his first business, Sukanto Tanoto was clearly on the path to success, managing to secure 3 million Singapore dollars in the bank; what with Chinese schools in Indonesia still closed, he provided his brothers with the means to continue their education in Singapore.

New Business Opportunities in Indonesia

As foreigners continued to arrive at the shores of Indonesia, Mr. Tanoto knew that he had to profit from this positive development, and, while continuing to learn the secrets of successfully managing his business, he also started learning English one word at a time, using a simple Chinese-English dictionary.

Again, the young entrepreneur’s foresight paid off, and again he proved that through his continuing drive to learn as much as possible, he could aspire to higher and higher goals. By 1970, he was able to start a new business using solely his own funds, becoming a contractor and supplier for a company known as Pertamina – operating in the petroleum and natural gas industry.

Two years later, Sukanto Tanoto became the proud owner of CV Karya (later renamed KARPEL), and, through his determination and constant study, he managed to make all the right choices to become one of the most competitive suppliers on the market.

New Philanthropic Initiatives for Indonesia: The Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy

After the years in which the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDG) designed for helping philanthropic foundations improve conditions in countries like Indonesia were deemed to be somewhat incomplete, a new set of goals called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was set in place recently. Philanthropic organizations gathered to find new solutions for poverty, health issues and inadequate education.

The new program, called the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy, has been set in place by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to outline the necessary changes and activities that are planned to be enacted in the years following 2015.

Who Is Behind the Initiative?

The new program is collectively run by the UNDP together with the Foundation Center and a group of other organizations, such as the Ford Foundation, the Tanoto Foundation and the Conrand N. Hilton Foundation, held together through a collaboration committee and fully supported and guided by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Indonesia is among the few countries that were chosen as targets for the new program, due to the fact that many of their inhabitants live well below the national poverty line and many new changes are required before adequate possibilities for a healthier, safer and happier life can be ensured for as much of the population as possible.

The proposal for the new SDGs was first presented after a year of painstaking work performed by a comprehensive group composed of representatives from more than 70 governments.

Established at the end of 2014, they were essentially the first part of a plan that would stretch from 2015 across almost 2 decades up to the 2030s, with goals including:

  • the unfinished MDGs – such as ending poverty and health related problems, improving education and achieving gender equality
  • economic and environmental sustainability
  • the creation and improvement of peaceful societies and initiatives to speed up development.

The foundations operating in the countries in question are expected to have widespread influence and retain the initiative to work on enacting these goals in a manner as straightforward and efficient as possible. In Indonesia, the Tanoto Foundation is among the key players involved in helping provide better resources, opportunities for infrastructural and health care improvements, and educational means for achieving goals such as gender equality and a higher degree of literacy.

The Post-2015 Development Agenda

The deadline of the MDGs is rapidly passing, and with the new goals in place, it seems that the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy has a brand new plan to implement in the following years, named the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This initiative was created to outline the way in which the new SDGs are expected to be implemented and ensure that, through the collaboration of a larger group of stakeholders, the goals are given a better chance of success for the future.

The project will provide the governments in countries like Indonesia, as well as grant holders and the UN system, with more data and a better understanding of the key issues that need to be addressed. According to the UNDP, in Indonesia, the focus will be more on continuing efforts to lower the number of people living below the national poverty line and providing better access to clean water, while also improving the health care system to reduce the number of infant and child deaths and stop the spread of HIV.

Data gathered from surveys placed healthcare, education, food and better security among the top concerns that countries facing high rates of poverty need to address. Through the initiatives set forth by the Partnership Platform for Philanthropy, the required activities for improving these areas are expected to be set in motion as soon as the end of 2015, with a long and extremely active schedule in place for the next 10-15 years.