Wayne Forrest


About wayne-forrest2

Wayne Forrest is President of the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, a private not for profit membership organization based in NY.

Limits of Hard Infrastructure

The huge promise of the Jokowi Administration’s infrastructure efforts has not yet resulted in lower logistics costs. The rosy future predicted in glossy reports of McKinsey, Citibank, World Bank and others depends in large measure on solving the riddle of high local transportation costs, something that has plagued Indonesia for a long time. Just [...]

By |2019-03-28T18:46:40+00:00March 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Time For Straighter Talk

Since January 1 the rupiah has strengthened from 15,000 to 14,000, mostly on the heels of announcements from the Fed that it would not be raising the prime rate imminently. With a yawning current account deficit this development was met with a sigh of relief from Indonesia’s economic brain trust. They could certainly use it [...]

By |2019-02-08T22:09:42+00:00February 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2018: A Year of Red Ink

Looking back at 2018 one sees a year many of us might otherwise want to forget; it was a true test of Indonesia’s capacity for resilience. Amid a string of natural and human disasters; an uncertain economic environment involving the country’s major trading partners (EU, China and the US); a yawning current account and [...]

By |2019-01-07T16:11:28+00:00January 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Wisdom of Yogyakarta

Commentary by Wayne Forrest I recently spent 5 days in NY and Connecticut with the man who would be President of Indonesia. Its not hard to see why Sultan of Yogyakarta examines a puppet at Yale so many Indonesians have backed him in past elections, especially in 1999 after President Suharto’s epic resignation. Although he [...]

By |2019-01-02T19:36:34+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Where’s the Transformation ?

Commentary by Wayne Forrest It keeps happening over successive Indonesian presidencies: a transformational figure is elected (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Joko Widodo) who appoints transformational ministers, who propose reforms. But, then things bog down. Frustration sets in, or the person leaves the Cabinet. Growth atrophies and the language of discourse remains in the pluperfect tense. [...]


The principals of 5 US-Indonesia organizations with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and US Ambassador Joseph Donovan Commentary by Wayne Forrest Indonesia seemed to be exhibiting multiple personalities during my visit last week as it simultaneously hosted a major athletic event(Asian Para Olympic Games) and banking event (World bank/IMF Annual Meetings) while organizing [...]


Commentary by Wayne Forrest In another era the rupiah flirted with 15,000 triggering panic, violence, and eventually a change of government. As the rupiah approaches the same level today, 20 years later, we are seeing anxiety, yes, but also confidence and unity. We saw an example of this through sports. Indonesia’s Hanifan Yudani Kusumah [...]

By |2018-09-27T16:27:50+00:00September 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments


REMOVING A PEBBLE IN THE SHOE Commentary by Wayne Forrest Back in the Soeharto era, Indonesia’s very gifted diplomat, Ali Alatas, used to say about East Timor ( a province with a strong separatist movement that caused major diplomatic problems) that it was “the pebble in Indonesia’s shoe”. East Timor achieved independence after Soeharto’s [...]

Fear of Foreigners

Commentary by Wayne Forrest I pity the poor immigrant Who wishes he would’ve stayed home -Bob Dylan Immigration anxiety is now an issue shared by the US and Indonesia. Both countries have political leaders (elected or unelected) who talk about a “flood” of illegal immigrants even though statistics prove otherwise. For Indonesia it’s the [...]

By |2018-07-11T14:35:04+00:00July 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Which Way

Which Way is the Wind Blowing by Wayne Forrest Recently Moody’s and Fitch curiously upgraded their Indonesia sovereign rating while the government fixed energy and electricity prices for two years, placing the large obligations of state-owned Pertamina and PLN at risk. Meanwhile the rupiah and stock market indexes are trending south but Bank Indonesia [...]