Wayne Forrest

/Wayne Forrest

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Political Parties and the Next President of Indonesia

  Political PartiesFor many years I have been a member of Columbia University’s Southeast Asia seminar, a fantastic group of scholars, writers, and a few private sector representatives.  We recently hosted a young scholar from the Australian National University, Marcus Mietzner, who has lived in Indonesia and closely follows the development of political parties.   Mietzner [...]

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 [...]