American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce

/American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce

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 [...]

Ambiguity and Sadli’s Law

May 9, 2017- My recent visit to Indonesia underlined a defining feature of Indonesia’s political economy: ambiguity. The common theme among all my meetings with local as well as international business people was that contradictory regulations, shifting political winds, side-wise legal decisions, were all hampering an economy that should be growing above 5%. So every [...]

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 because [...]

Indonesia’s Ticking Time Bomb

Commentary by Wayne Forrest I fear a ticking time bomb could soon explode in Indonesia.  Its probably not what you think; its not a natural disaster or mass movement based on religion.  It has to do with natural resources and the origins of the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and some of its founding [...]

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 [...]

Two Years In

Two years into his 5 year term President Jokowi is exhibiting some of the qualities of former President Suharto. I say this not to compare them in any fundamental way - Jokowi is not an authoritarian-  but to illustrate the process by which each consolidated power in the early years after they became President. Jokowi [...]

The Big Number

Commentary by Wayne Forrest AMCHAM Indonesia and the US Chamber of Commerce recently released the fourth in their terrific annual series of reports that collectively put the US as perhaps Indonesia’s largest overall economic partner. The first 3 reports (2013-2015) established the case for the US designation as the largest foreign investor. With this year’s [...]

Educated Abroad

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Indonesia has always had an ambivalent attitude towards foreigners, foreign investment, and Indonesians educated abroad. I began thinking about this during the latest Cabinet reshuffle when several highly successful Indonesians returned from long stints abroad. 71 years after independence it still isn't an easy transition for an Indonesian to return or [...]

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 [...]