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SPORTS AND THE CONFIDENCE TO INTERVENE

Commentary by Wayne Forrest In another era the rupiah flirted with 15,000 triggering panic, violence, and eventually a change of government. As the rupiah approaches the same level today, 20 years later, we are seeing anxiety, yes, but also confidence and unity. We saw an example of this through sports. Indonesia’s Hanifan Yudani Kusumah [...]

By | 2018-09-27T16:27:50+00:00 September 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

REMOVING A PEBBLE IN THE SHOE

REMOVING A PEBBLE IN THE SHOE Commentary by Wayne Forrest Back in the Soeharto era, Indonesia’s very gifted diplomat, Ali Alatas, used to say about East Timor ( a province with a strong separatist movement that caused major diplomatic problems) that it was “the pebble in Indonesia’s shoe”. East Timor achieved independence after Soeharto’s [...]

Fear of Foreigners

Commentary by Wayne Forrest I pity the poor immigrant Who wishes he would’ve stayed home -Bob Dylan Immigration anxiety is now an issue shared by the US and Indonesia. Both countries have political leaders (elected or unelected) who talk about a “flood” of illegal immigrants even though statistics prove otherwise. For Indonesia it’s the [...]

By | 2018-07-11T14:35:04+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

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 [...]

The Women Have It !

Separated by thousands of miles of geography but not in their attitude toward the workplace, 13 women C-Suite executives from the US and Indonesia met each other and 170 other guests at AICC’s US-Indonesia Women’s CEO Summit on October 11 in Washington, DC. They represented a diversity of companies: banks, law firms, mining, oil/gas, retail, [...]

A Positive Narrative

If I look back over the past year, the story lines surrounding Indonesia have mostly been negative. Of course, part of the reason is that the main principle of the media is that “bad news sells”. On Indonesia’s side there have been natural disasters (flooding, mudslides, eruptions etc.), commercial concerns (halal import restrictions, local content [...]

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 [...]