INDONESIA’S Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati has been named the Best Minister in the World.
Responsible for helming the budget of Southeast Asia’s largest economy, the minister was presented the award by the UAE’s Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the six annual World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Sunday.
“Under her mandate Indonesia achieved tangible results in reducing poverty, improving the standard of living, reducing public debt and boosting the transparency of public transactions,” said the awarding committee.
She was also recognised for her efforts to “fight corruption and increase transparency in government.”
Sri Mulyani has been Finance Minister since 2016 under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and was formerly the World Bank’s Managing Director. She previously served as finance minister from 2005 to 2010 and is credited with steering Indonesia though the Global Financial Crisis.
“The Indonesian economy now is much more resilient and that has something to do with a much stronger foundation of the way we manage the economy,” she told CNBC in an interview last year.
The selection process for the Best Minister award was undertaken by independent consultancy Ernst & Young based upon ministers’ leadership, innovation, the social and economic impacts and the scaleability of initiatives and policies.
It aims to recognise “exceptional efforts of government ministers at demonstrating excellence in the public sector, implementing successful reforms and inspiring other government leaders and service providers to promote innovation within their domain, to better serve the needs of their citizens.”
Previous awardees include Senegal’s former Minister of Health and Social Action Awa Marie Coll-Seck in 2017 and Australia’s then-Environment Minister Greg Hunt in 2016.
According to the World Government Summit, poverty has been reduced in Indonesia by 40 percent in the past five years, while the country’s debt was reduced by 50 percent. Indonesian reserves, meanwhile, were at the “all-time high” of $50 billion, it said.
In a video posted to Facebook, Sri Mulyani dedicated the award to the leadership of Jokowi, the people of Indonesia and the ministry’s 78,000 staffers. “I hope this award motivates the Indonesian government to implement further reforms to prepare the young generation for a fast-changing world and technological advancement,” she said.
The minister has presided over Indonesia’s ambitious tax amnesty scheme, the Jokowi administration’s major investments in infrastructure and has “earned a reputation for toughness”, according to Bloomberg.