AICC

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Is Barbie Guilty ?

I will be visiting Indonesia next week and will likely be asked about President Trump's trade policy, articulated in his recent executive orders.  Will Indonesia, one of 16 countries under review with a large trade deficit, be penalized.  Is it really a trade "cheater" ?   The US runs a congenital deficit with Indonesia mostly [...]

Regret

There’s a lot of regret going around these days. Democrats, who lost a close election, no doubt regret they didn’t do more to convince Midwest rust belt voters worried about their future that they had a viable jobs plan. President Trump regrets he didn’t win the popular vote — although he seems to actually think [...]

Honking in the Free World

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Their signs read  “Om Telolet Om”.  It simply means, “sir, honk your horn, sir”.  Young girls and boys, especially in Jakarta, hold them up for passing bus drivers, hoping to prompt them to play their musical horns as they drive by.  It’s a fun, clean game with instant rewards, especially given [...]

Golkar Returns

For those familiar with Indonesian politics Golkar is the party synonymous with Indonesia’s economic development. More than a just a political party, Golkar was an amalgamation of various “functional groups” (military, government bureaucrats, farmer’s organizations, etc.) that implemented the New Order government’s economic agenda. Golkar was engineered to be a partner of the government and [...]

Duane Gingerich’s Pivot: In Memorium (1942-2016)

As President Obama prepares to receive most of Southeast Asia's heads of state at the US-ASEAN Summit February 15-16 in Rancho Mirage I am thinking of a recently fallen friend of AICC, Duane Gingerich, who passed away last Friday. President Obama had it right several years ago when he coined the "pivot to Asia" policy, [...]

Soekarno’s Echo

Indonesia's first President became so frustrated with the "West" that he famously declared " go to hell with your aid".  A combination of the Cold War and misjudgments of Soekarno's complex ideology (mixing capitalism and socialism) led the US and other countries down several dead ends that almost capsized relations completely.  The late 1950's and [...]

The Value Added State

President Jokowi is likely to travel to the US for his first official visit to Washington in early June.  President Obama no doubt wants to hear Indonesia's President describe his country, his plans for its economic future and how the US fits in.   What might Jokowi tell President Obama about today's Indonesia? He will [...]

Outlook for 2015: Cautious Optimism

Commentary by Wayne ForrestSince taking office in October President Jokowi has not waited for Parliament, using his executive powers to reset Indonesia's course. He is turning out to be savvier then many gave him credit for.  2015 could mark the beginning of a positive new chapter in Indonesia's economic development.   Although only a short amount [...]

Parliament Votes to End Direct Elections: Twists and Turns

Politics in Indonesia is about to become a whole lot more interesting. Late last Friday while President SBY was in DC --after addressing the UN Global Climate Change Summit in NY--Indonesia's Parliament voted to end the direct election of district heads, mayors, and provincial governors. Touted in 2004 as a further improvement and maturation of Indonesia's [...]

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 [...]