Indonesia

/Indonesia

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]