He 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, was forced to step 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 temporarily taught Indonesian languages and cultures at the Volksuniversiteit in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), while increasingly becoming aware of the economic potential of Indonesia in a world where the economic gravity point was rapidly 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 conditions of the country and through frequent visits to Indonesia established a network within businesses and government circles.

Since 2013 he has been permanently based in Jakarta and is frequently contacted by international media to share his views on economic, political and social developments in Indonesia. Journalists can reach him through +62(0)8 788 410 6944 (including WhatsApp). He can also act as speaker at events or give presentations to boards/workers in companies.

"One of the most important aspects of doing business in Indonesia is to comprehend Indonesia's culture of business. It amazes me how often this cultural aspect is neglected when foreigners invest in Indonesia, but it is certainly critical to achieve success. Also in-depth knowledge about Indonesia's business and investment environments is critical when preparing an investment project here. This too is sometimes underestimated by investors. Even investment projects in Indonesia carried out by foreign governments (and supported by the local embassy in Jakarta) sometimes lack expertise on Indonesia, meaning future results will be far from optimal, while public money (usually tax money) is squandered."

Organization Indonesia Investments
  Private Investment Company
Position Managing Director
Expertise Investment & Business Strategies | Investment & Business Environment | Macroeconomics & Politics | Cultural Studies


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Columns of R.M.A. van der Schaar

  • Analysis of Indonesia’s Current Account Deficit: Search for Fiscal Stability

    Analysis of Indonesia’s Current Account Deficit: Search for Fiscal Stability

    Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, commented on Indonesia’s troubled current account balance on Tuesday (12/08). Martowardojo said that he expects the balance to improve in 2014. Last year, the current account deficit of Southeast Asia’s largest economy reached 3.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP); a level which is generally regarded as unsustainable. This year, the deficit may ease to 3 percent of GDP. For investors the current account balance is an important matter. Why?

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia Slows to 5.12% in the Second Quarter of 2014

    Economic Growth of Indonesia Slows to 5.12% in the Second Quarter of 2014

    Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Tuesday (05/08) that Indonesia’s economy grew 5.12 percent in the second quarter of 2014 from the same quarter last year. This means that gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Indonesia has continued the slowing trend it has been experiencing since 2011. The 5.12 percentage point GDP growth in Q2-2014 is the slowest growth pace that has been recorded by Southeast Asia’s largest economy since the fourth quarter of 2009. What explains this slowing economic growth of Indonesia?

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  • Joko Widodo’s Political & Economic Agenda: Future of Jokowi’s Indonesia?

    Joko Widodo’s Political & Economic Agenda: Future of Jokowi’s Indonesia?

    When campaigning, presidential candidates will always promise a bright future in order to gain votes. It is particularly easy for a new presidential candidate to promise golden mountains as opposed to the incumbent president who needs to be more cautious making promises as people can point to the (failed) results of his promises during the presidential term. The 2014 Indonesian presidential election was particularly interesting as we saw two new presidential candidates and, thus, the ‘inflation of promises’.

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  • How Did the Indonesian Rupiah and Stock Market Perform Last Week?

    How Did the Indonesian Rupiah and Stock Market Perform Last Week?

    Emerging currencies in Asia, led by the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate, strengthened in the past week on positive economic data from the US and China, the world’s two largest economies. Companies in the US added more jobs than expected in June 2014, while manufacturing in China grew at its fastest pace in 2014. Improving economies of the US and China are important for Asian countries as it boosts Asian exports. Moreover, Indonesian inflation and trade data contributed to positive market sentiments.

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  • Why the Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate has been Depreciating Lately

    Why has the Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate been Depreciating Lately?

    After the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate temporarily surpassed the psychological boundary of IDR 12,000 per US dollar on Wednesday (18/06), concerns about the fundamentals of the currency emerged. The currency has been under pressure recently due to external factors (monetary policy of the Federal Reserve and geopolitical tensions in Iraq) and domestic factors (large private debt, significant US dollar demand, the wide trade deficit and political uncertainty ahead of the presidential election).

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