Over a decade ago, economist Jim O'Neill became famous for the introduction of the term BRIC (indicating the promising economic perspectives of Brazil, Russia, India and China). Now the BRICs have lost some of its significance, he has turned to a new acronym: MINT. These MINT countries - consisting of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey - share a number of features that make them potential giant economies in the future: promising demographic structure, strategic geographical location, and commodity-rich soil.
Has been fascinated by Indonesian cultures and history since the very first time he stepped foot on Indonesian soil in mid-1998, just one month after Indonesia's second president, Suharto, stepped down from office at a time when the Asian Crisis ravaged through the country. He decided to do his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Southeast Asian Studies at Leiden University (the Netherlands) with a major focus on Indonesian society, history and linguistics. After successfully finishing his MA degree he taught Indonesian languages and cultures at a local university, while realizing the economic potential of the country in a world where the economic gravity point is shifting to the East. With having had a profound training in Indonesia's macroeconomic history at university, he started to delve into the contemporary economic condition of the country and through frequent visits to Indonesia established a network with businesses and government circles.
"One of the most important aspects of doing business in Indonesia is to comprehend Indonesia's culture of business."
|Institute||Business Consultant Indonesia Affairs|
|Position|| Owner | Director
|Expertise||Macroeconomy | Cultural Studies | History|
Columns of R.M.A. van der Schaar
Again positive news for Indonesia's trade balance. Last week, Statistics Indonesia announced that the largest economy of Southeast Asia posted a USD $776.8 million trade surplus in November 2013 (the largest monthly trade surplus since March 2012). After the (revised) USD $24 million trade surplus in October 2013, November was the second straight month in which the country posted a surplus. This development is important to gain investors' confidence as Indonesia's current account deficit has been a major cause for concern.
As we approach the end of 2013 it is worth taking a look back to the performance of the stock market of Indonesia this year. At the start of the year, investors and analysts were positive that the country's benchmark stock index (known as the IHSG or Jakarta Composite Index) would post steady growth. Initial forecasts claimed that the IHSG could surpass the 5,000 points level by the end of 2013 from 4,300 at end-2012. The actual performance of the IHSG in fact exceeded expectations as in May 2013 the index moved beyond 5,200 points.
Indonesia's Finance Minister Chatib Basri stated that the government of Indonesia is busy preparing three new policies that aim to restore financial stability as well as attract foreign direct investments. These three new policies involve the higher sales tax on imported luxury cars, a revision of Indonesia's negative investment list, and the higher income tax on imported consumption goods. These three new policies are in addition to the policy package that was introduced by the Indonesian government in August 2013.
The Federal Reserve, central banking system of the United States, expects that the current economic recovery of the USA is set to continue. In the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held at end-October 2013, it is mentioned that within the next few months the Federal Reserve can start winding down its monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (known as quantitative easing). The next FOMC meeting, which will shed more light on the future of the bond-buying program, is scheduled for December 2013.