Wayne Forrest

/Wayne Forrest

Where’s the Transformation ?

Commentary by Wayne Forrest It keeps happening over successive Indonesian presidencies: a transformational figure is elected (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Joko Widodo) who appoints transformational ministers, who propose reforms. But, then things bog down. Frustration sets in, or the person leaves the Cabinet. Growth atrophies and the language of discourse remains in the pluperfect tense. [...]

MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES

The principals of 5 US-Indonesia organizations with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and US Ambassador Joseph Donovan Commentary by Wayne Forrest Indonesia seemed to be exhibiting multiple personalities during my visit last week as it simultaneously hosted a major athletic event(Asian Para Olympic Games) and banking event (World bank/IMF Annual Meetings) while organizing [...]

2017 Highlights

Accountability Commentary by Wayne Forrest According to recent news reports underpasses in downtown Jakarta were recently flooded causing worse-than-normal gridlock.  Pumps were not checked and maintained regularly, apparently. All of Indonesia’s tsunami buoys are inoperable due to vandalism and lack of maintenance, an official from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency recently said.  The new [...]

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, [...]

New Beginnings

It’s the end of August, people are preparing to return to the grindstone after holidays and new beginnings are in the offing. After months of back and forth, Indonesia and Freeport announced a new way forward that –at least for the moment—appears satisfactory; it’s an agreement to move ahead towards an agreement without either side [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]