Wayne Forrest

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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

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

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