American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce

/American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Political Parties and the Next President of Indonesia

  Political PartiesFor many years I have been a member of Columbia University’s Southeast Asia seminar, a fantastic group of scholars, writers, and a few private sector representatives.  We recently hosted a young scholar from the Australian National University, Marcus Mietzner, who has lived in Indonesia and closely follows the development of political parties.   Mietzner [...]

Outlook for 2013

Indonesia heads into 2013 with continuing questions for foreign companies within an overall atmosphere of solid 6% -6.5% economic growth.  The blemishes --if handled well--will not take away from the rosy complexion.  Those looking for stimulative reforms that would smooth the path for foreign companies may have to wait until the next Administration or look [...]

New Indonesian Mining Divestment Rules

Is Mining Divestment Such a Benefit to Indonesia?Indonesia is following a worldwide trend of pushing out foreign ownership of mining assets. A March 8 Reuters story began "Indonesia will take more of the profits from its vast mineral resources by limiting foreign ownership of mines". But, is that what necessarily happens when more of the [...]

Pivot to Asia

Indonesia fell smack in the middle of the Obama Administration's much ballyhooed "Asia Pivot", a wonderful image for the ramp up of engagement with Asia that it has demonstrated. The Administration is to be commended for both the symbolic and real commitments it has made to the region in general and Indonesia, specifically. One could [...]