The message was conveyed by President Widodo during a working meeting with heads of Indonesian representatives attended by Indonesian ambassadors, consul generals, and high-ranking officials at the Pancasila Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Widodo reiterated that despite Indonesia's peace diplomacy being commended by the international community, the country should review its economic diplomacy.
"We should explore more non-traditional markets and not depend on old markets, the traditional ones. We have to be more tenacious in working on non-traditional markets," President Widodo pointed out.
President Widodo informed the Indonesian diplomats of his recent tour to five countries in South Asia -- Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan -- in January.
"There are countries that we take for granted, but in fact, they have huge potential," Widodo noted, adding that countries in South Asia and Africa offer a huge market for Indonesian products.
Innovations in Indonesian products and their exports should be encouraged in order to compete in the global market, he emphasized.
The president also highlighted the importance of building Indonesia's image by participating in international exhibitions to introduce and promote Indonesian products overseas.
Meanwhile, Indonesia is the only member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to have become a member of the G20, President Widodo noted.
"No more feeling inferior or feeling that we are a small country. We are a big country," the president remarked.
According to Fitch Ratings, one of the world's top three credit rating agencies, Indonesia's position in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking rose to 72nd out of 190 countries in 2017, a rise of 37 places in two years, owing to the government's reforms to improve the business environment in Indonesia.
Thus, it has demonstrated investor trust, President Widodo pointed out.
The homework is not only attracting investment to the country but Indonesia should also be ready to invest in other countries, the president noted.
President Widodo then reaffirmed his commitment to cutting red tape in the form of overlapping regulations or rigid conformity that is considered to be redundant or bureaucratic that hinders investment in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi stated that the working meeting is themed Diplomacy "zaman now," a popular and viral term for "current generation."
A short theme, but "zaman now" is the key to changing the mindset, or what is popularly used by the president as the "mental revolution" that should be undertaken by all Indonesian diplomats, Marsudi noted.
"To ensure that Indonesia leaps forward and that the benefits of such leap can be felt by our people and the world, there is a need to change the mindset by everyone and every Indonesian diplomat," Minister Marsudi explained.
To strengthen Indonesia's economic diplomacy, Indonesian diplomats will also attend a networking meeting with chief executive officers of Indonesian enterprises.
Apart from highlighting economic diplomacy, President Widodo encouraged Indonesian diplomats to improve services in terms of offering protection to Indonesian citizens overseas and reaffirming Indonesia's commitment to peace diplomacy and humanitarian assistance.
The working meeting with Indonesian heads of representatives was also attended by Minister of State Secretariat Pratikno, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs and other high-ranking officials of the Indonesian government.(*)