AICC

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REMOVING A PEBBLE IN THE SHOE

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 [...]

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 [...]

Subsidies Return

Commentary by Wayne Forrest  When President Jokowi took office in 2014 he opened his arms wide to foreign investment, ended the costly energy subsidies, announced that building critically needed infrastructure would be his priority, and set 7% GDP growth as his 5-year goal.   A key part of the plan was to build an additional [...]

Politics and Rice

Indonesia possesses many excellent economists who know supply and demand. They graduate from the economics departments of not only the nation’s best universities that rank with counterparts in other countries but from foreign universities as well.  Many occupy senior positions in the government. But yet, when it comes to commodities such as rice or [...]

2017 Highlights

Accountability Commentary by Wayne Forrest According to recent news reports underpasses in downtown Jakarta were recently flooded causing worse-than-normal gridlock.  Pumps were not checked and maintained regularly, apparently. All of Indonesia’s tsunami buoys are inoperable due to vandalism and lack of maintenance, an official from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency recently said.  The new [...]

Unease of Doing Business

The World Bank recently announced that Indonesia jumped 19 places in its ease of doing business rankings to 72 out of 192 countries. (It ranked 114 at the time of President Jokowi’s election).  Before we cheer too loudly its important to understand that the positive ratings change has come by the bank’s analysis of regulations [...]

The Women Have It !

Separated by thousands of miles of geography but not in their attitude toward the workplace, 13 women C-Suite executives from the US and Indonesia met each other and 170 other guests at AICC’s US-Indonesia Women’s CEO Summit on October 11 in Washington, DC. They represented a diversity of companies: banks, law firms, mining, oil/gas, retail, [...]

New Beginnings

It’s the end of August, people are preparing to return to the grindstone after holidays and new beginnings are in the offing. After months of back and forth, Indonesia and Freeport announced a new way forward that –at least for the moment—appears satisfactory; it’s an agreement to move ahead towards an agreement without either side [...]

A Positive Narrative

If I look back over the past year, the story lines surrounding Indonesia have mostly been negative. Of course, part of the reason is that the main principle of the media is that “bad news sells”. On Indonesia’s side there have been natural disasters (flooding, mudslides, eruptions etc.), commercial concerns (halal import restrictions, local content [...]

Pancasila to the Rescue

May 31, 2017 Some say today’s Indonesia is not your father’s Indonesia. A political scientist I know believes that in 15 years all of Indonesia will be under sharia law. I am not so sure. The heart of the secular basis of Indonesia’s republic has always been the Pancasila or 5 principles. They are: Belief [...]