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.

Where Are The Technocrats ?

I have been watching the rupiah flirt with 12,000, remembering 1998 time when it dropped from 2400 to 15,000, and the long period in 2010 and 2011 when it was steady at 8,800-9200. Its tough to see the currency move lower and growth rates in the 5% range when its generally known that Indonesia's population [...]

Bima vs Puntadewa

CEO Notes Bima                                            Puntadewa Indonesia’s Presidential campaign has now kicked off in earnest and although the two candidates don't have too many differences over the substance of their economic policies, they do differ markedly in character and personality. And its character [...]

Edward Masters: (1924-2014) Built to Last

The passing of Ambassador Edward Masters in March sent a twinge of sadness through many of us.  He taught us many things by his actions as much as his words. Together with his wife Allene, he created ideas, institutions and relationships that lasted.  Beginning in the mid 1960’s he experienced Indonesia from multiple perspectives: junior [...]

The January Surprise

On January 12, Indonesia’s mineral export ban came into effect with an unexpected kicker: an export tax on copper concentrates.   As predicted, a last minute compromise allowed them to be exported but soon after it was revealed that the Finance Ministry contradicted the thrust of the exemptions by imposing a graduated export tax that goes [...]

To Ban or Not To Ban

2013 ends a year in which the Indonesian economy made a strong start and sputtered mid year when rumors of an end to the US Fed’s monetary easing, and uncertainty over nationalist trade policy spooked investors.  Policymakers reacted with measures to preserve the rupiah’s value and reign in an advancing current account deficit. Come January [...]

By | 2018-02-22T20:41:41+00:00 January 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Structural Reform Anxiety

Its amazing and somewhat anxiety producing to watch both the US and Indonesia democracies struggle over structural reforms.   An inflection point seems to have simultaneously been reached in each country, with each nation's future depending on their implementation.  In America's case its primarily the troubled rollout of a new and improved healthcare system as [...]

APEC and America’s Image

I normally go about my business keeping my American roots a little under wraps.  AICC is after all a bi-national association.  Right before this year’s APEC meetings in Bali (October), there was the third US-Indonesia Commercial Dialog.  Seated opposite from each other around a large square table were roughly 10 CEO’s from each country.   I [...]

By | 2018-02-22T20:41:41+00:00 November 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Issue to Watch: Rupiah Hits 11,000: Time to Stimulate

Steep declines in the rupiah (it briefly passed 11,000 on Friday) stock index and overall confidence-echoing earlier drops-finally sent enough shivers within the government for the President and his economic team to say "enough is enough".  Bank Indonesia probably knew its interventions could not last for long against strong headwinds.  After a hastily organized meeting [...]

By | 2018-02-22T20:41:41+00:00 August 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Energy Subdies Reduced

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government has finally moved to to reduce the ballooning energy subsidies that have absorbed far too much of the State budget for years. In the form of a budget revision, the reduction was approved by Parliament with the President's coalition (Golkar, PAN, PKB, PPP, PD) holding together except for the PKS [...]

Return of Paternalist Capitalism

A commonly held view of Indonesia's recent, more protectionist policy decisions (i.e. mineral export bans, beef and horticulture import restrictions, mining divestment rules) is that they are motivated by populist politics leading to the 2014 election.   Followers of this view say that once the election is over, Indonesian policymaking will somehow shift back to [...]