MANY city leaders focus on local economic development. With this priority, there are various efforts taken by cities, from the development of areas for tourist destinations, building capacity of local people, to integrating culture into development to support the local economy. These actions are also applied in the Regency of Purwakarta (Indonesia). What unique is the leader, Regent Anne Ratna Mustika, also ensures that local economic development priority protects the consumers besides benefitting local people as sellers. Her efforts in developing the local economy and consumer protection have garnered praise and appreciation from the central government at the national level.
Regent Anne started the initiative long before she becomes Regent of Purwakarta. When supporting her husband, the previous city leader who focused on tourism development at that time, she saw the opportunity to develop the local economy by promoting local specialities. Playing her role at that time as part of the regency’s Family Welfare Development Team, she initiated the establishment of Menong Gallery, a centre of local specialities for tourists to bring home after enjoying Purwakarta.
Menong Gallery is firstly open in 2016. The centre offers a range of local foods and products at various prices. The gallery has received positive feedback that the local government of Purwakarta under the leadership of Regent Anne decided to expand and open the second gallery. Formally opened on 31 December 2019, Regent Anne also launched Purwakarta’s local Batik products.
Besides developing local potencies, the local government of Purwakarta, under the leadership of Regent Anne, also pays attention to ensuring fairness to buyers. Recruiting volunteers, the regency’s Department of Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, Industry and Trade, has ensured local people receive proper knowledge and use standard and fair measurements in running their business. Because of the efforts, the local government of Purwakarta received an award from the Ministry of Trade.
In addition, for efforts in developing the local economy, Regent Anne received at least three times, the Natamukti awards from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises for promoting cooperatives and small businesses in Purwakarta.