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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 [...]

Is Barbie Guilty ?

I will be visiting Indonesia next week and will likely be asked about President Trump's trade policy, articulated in his recent executive orders.  Will Indonesia, one of 16 countries under review with a large trade deficit, be penalized.  Is it really a trade "cheater" ? The US runs a congenital deficit with Indonesia mostly because [...]

Regret

There’s a lot of regret going around these days. Democrats, who lost a close election, no doubt regret they didn’t do more to convince Midwest rust belt voters worried about their future that they had a viable jobs plan. President Trump regrets he didn’t win the popular vote — although he seems to actually think [...]

Honking in the Free World

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Their signs read  “Om Telolet Om”.  It simply means, “sir, honk your horn, sir”.  Young girls and boys, especially in Jakarta, hold them up for passing bus drivers, hoping to prompt them to play their musical horns as they drive by.  It’s a fun, clean game with instant rewards, especially given [...]

Ahok, Trump, and The Way Forward

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Saying anything about a Trump Administration and its effect on US- Indonesia relations now could prove to be a fool’s enterprise, but this month’s commentary will take a shot, doing so by way of the controversy surrounding Basuki “Ahok” Purnama’s troubled bid to remain Jakarta’s governor. With the precedent set by [...]

By | 2016-12-02T20:48:55+00:00 December 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Two Years In

Two years into his 5 year term President Jokowi is exhibiting some of the qualities of former President Suharto. I say this not to compare them in any fundamental way - Jokowi is not an authoritarian-  but to illustrate the process by which each consolidated power in the early years after they became President. Jokowi [...]

Cabinet Rebalance 2.0- The Avoidance of Conflict

Commentary by Wayne Forrest The avoidance of conflict and embarrassment can be a strong dynamic in Javanese culture.  In the world of the shadow puppets (wayang), a balanced, steady state is the ideal. The arc of most wayang stories is from stability to a disturbance that yields a conflict to the restoration of order.   Politeness, [...]

By | 2017-11-10T14:29:38+00:00 August 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|2 Comments