Indonesia

/Indonesia

Where’s the Transformation ?

Commentary by Wayne Forrest It keeps happening over successive Indonesian presidencies: a transformational figure is elected (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Joko Widodo) who appoints transformational ministers, who propose reforms. But, then things bog down. Frustration sets in, or the person leaves the Cabinet. Growth atrophies and the language of discourse remains in the pluperfect tense. [...]

MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES

The principals of 5 US-Indonesia organizations with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and US Ambassador Joseph Donovan Commentary by Wayne Forrest Indonesia seemed to be exhibiting multiple personalities during my visit last week as it simultaneously hosted a major athletic event(Asian Para Olympic Games) and banking event (World bank/IMF Annual Meetings) while organizing [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]