Indonesia

/Indonesia

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 [...]

Bima vs Puntadewa

CEO Notes Bima                                            Puntadewa Indonesia’s Presidential campaign has now kicked off in earnest and although the two candidates don't have too many differences over the substance of their economic policies, they do differ markedly in character and personality. And its character [...]

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 [...]