Bali is in the midst of a year of huge international events. The latest announcement from the Bali G20 Summit committee is that tech pioneers Elon Musk and Bill Gates will attend the B20, the business division of the G20 summit, in Bali in November. This comes as huge news for the island as many locals and ex-pats are getting excited about world leaders, in both government and business, visiting Bali and the impact this will have on their livelihoods.
Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta on 24th May, the chairman of the B20 committee Shinta Kamdani confirmed that Musk and Gates will be attending the event. Musk hinted at his attendance during the B20 Indonesia Business & Investment Forum in Davos Switzerland, held in January this year. The confirmation of his attendance will turn even more eyes on Bali during the 2-day summit.
The G20 will see political and business leaders land in Bali to discuss global economic recovery from Covid-19, climate change, and sustainable development. Kamdani said that the B20 Indonesia Summit will have a specific focus on ‘green transition, equitable distribution of health services, and inclusive growth’.
Those in the tech sector in Indonesia will be excited by Elon Musk and Bill Gates’s upcoming visits, investments from them in Indonesia’s technology sector would create exciting jobs for thousands of people. President Joko Widodo is said to want to have increased investment in the tech sector in Indonesia and no doubt plans are coming together to ensure that they can sit around a table together.
Bali is already a hub for digital entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and remote workers. The surge in the opening of co-working spaces across hotspots like Ubud and Canggu is a great example of the consistent demand and interest from international travelers who want to work remotely in Bali.
The G20 and B20 conferences could kick-start conversation that lead to legislation changes that make it easier for international non-residents to operate their businesses in Bali; especially if they support the green economy. Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies is also in regular talks with Australian politicians to establish a cross-border partnership to boost creative industries.
As Indonesia emerges from the pandemic the government will be keen to see tourism bounce back while they seek opportunities to promote economic development and security outside of tourism. Bali took a huge financial blow during successive lockdowns and it seems that the government is eager to ensure the tourism sector bounces back fast while opening up new opportunities in the tech and creative industries to future-proof their GDP.
Local excitement around Elon Musk’s visit may have to be put on hold as Bali has two more big International conferences to host before the G20 in November. From 23-28th May Bali is hosting the 7th Global Platform For Disaster Risk Reduction, another United Nations event. The summit will also be attended by President Joko Widodo and over 2,000 Indonesian military personnel have been deployed to increase security across the island as 4,000 international delegates and their families arrive.
In June Bali will be hosting the 8th Bali and Beyond Travel Fair which showcases Indonesia’s exceptional tourism industry to the world. The summit will be attended by leaders in the travel and leisure space and is an opportunity for Bali to once again showcase their unique offering to the world.
What many are hoping for now is the complete ending of all Covid-19-related restrictions. There is speculation as to whether the remaining will mandates will be dropped when Jokowi finishes his visit to Bali for the Global Platform For Disaster Risk Reduction since Bali is the litmus test for tourism reopening. The other deciding factor is the data that comes in about caseload changes following the removal of the pre-arrival PCR test for vaccinated travelers.
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