Wayne Forrest

/Wayne Forrest

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 [...]

The Big Number

Commentary by Wayne Forrest AMCHAM Indonesia and the US Chamber of Commerce recently released the fourth in their terrific annual series of reports that collectively put the US as perhaps Indonesia’s largest overall economic partner. The first 3 reports (2013-2015) established the case for the US designation as the largest foreign investor. With this year’s [...]

Educated Abroad

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Indonesia has always had an ambivalent attitude towards foreigners, foreign investment, and Indonesians educated abroad. I began thinking about this during the latest Cabinet reshuffle when several highly successful Indonesians returned from long stints abroad. 71 years after independence it still isn't an easy transition for an Indonesian to return or [...]

Golkar Returns

For those familiar with Indonesian politics Golkar is the party synonymous with Indonesia’s economic development. More than a just a political party, Golkar was an amalgamation of various “functional groups” (military, government bureaucrats, farmer’s organizations, etc.) that implemented the New Order government’s economic agenda. Golkar was engineered to be a partner of the government and [...]

New Deregulation Package

Indonesia has released the second of three deregulation/stimulus packages designed to boost a flagging economy and strengthen the exchange rate. The first (released September 10) was primarily an exercise in reducing red tape and regulatory confusion in the trade arena and did not garner a lot of attention and praise, perhaps because its hard to [...]

The Meaning of Banggai

August 7, 2015President Jokowi traveled to the Banggai Regency in central Sulawesi this week to inaugurate the $5.8 billion "Pertamina Mega Integrated Project", which is planned to match the upstream production of natural gas with downstream users. The visit follows other forays of the President around the country to jump start other infrastructure projects including: [...]

Idul Fitri Reshuffle

June 30, 2105The serious Cabinet reshuffle rumors began in June: in Indonesia, they are part of the air one breaths. An underwhelming economic performance would prompt President Jokowi to reshuffle his Cabinet after Lebaran (end of the Muslim fasting month on July 18), especially his economic team. The economy is, given Indonesia's potential, standing still, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]