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Signing of Joint Agreement between the Ministry of Trade and Universities Across Indonesia

Indonesia , 01 November 2021

On Thursday, 28 October 2021, during the Peak of Indonesia’s National Consumer Day (Harkonas), the Indonesian Minister of Trade for the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Muhammad Luthfi, signed a Collective of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with forty-three different Universities all over Indonesia. The signing of the MoU is seen as a form of collaboration and cooperation between the government and academia, with the intention to further implement consumer protection in Indonesia.

The Harkonas takes place every year on 20 April as stipulated by Presidential Decree Number 13 of 2012.  This decree was intended for the Indonesian government to provide legal guarantees, further increasing the role of consumers in maintaining a healthy and sustainable national economy. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Harkonas was postponed to take place on 28 October 2021.

The recent 2020 Consumer Empowerment Index survey conducted by the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, showed that Consumer Empowerment in Indonesia scored 49.07, which indicated that Indonesian consumers are at the “Able” level in empowerment.  Although this was a good score, further improvement and effort on consumer protection activities are still required to further empower consumers in Indonesia.

Undoubtedly, implementing effective consumer protection is a shared responsibility held by the government and relevant stakeholders such as businesses and consumers. For this reason, the Ministry of Trade signed an MoU with forty-three different Universities from thirty-one different provinces all over Indonesia.  It is hoped that involving academia in promoting consumer protection would further synergize relevant stakeholders and the government in implementing an effective consumer protection scheme.

The signing of the MoU was carried out in hybrid form where six University Chancellors attended offline and thirty-seven University Rectors attended online. The signing has also received an award from the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) for breaking the world record in having a single agreement signed by most Universities and also from most Provinces. This award was immediately handed over by the General Chairperson of MURI Mr. Jaya Suprana to Mr. Muhammad Lutfi during the event.

With the implementation of this MoU, it is hoped that the active roles of Universities will further generate agents of change, which will assist the government in the wider dissemination of consumer protection-related information to the general public.  It is also hoped that this will in turn further empower consumers in Indonesia by not only increasing their knowledge and ability but also generating more critical consumers.