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: Car Sales in Indonesia Strong in First Four Months of 2013

    Analysis Car Sales Indonesia 2013 Toyota Daihatsu Astra Indonesia Investments - Richard van der Schaar - RMA van der Schaar

    Indonesian car sales in the first four months of 2013 continued its robust growth. Preliminary data from Agen Pemegang Merek (Brand Holder Agent or APM) indicates that from January to April of 2013 397,991 car units were sold in Indonesia, which constitutes a 17.75 percent increase compared to the first four months of 2012. Toyota retained its position as market leader with a market share of 35.9 percent. However, sales of Honda and Suzuki vehicles are growing fast in Indonesia.

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  • Investment Grades: International Confidence in Indonesia's Resilient Economy

    Credit Ratings Indonesia Investment Grade Indonesia Investments

    One piece of evidence of international confidence in the Indonesian economy is the steady upgrades in the country's credit ratings by international financial services companies such as Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings and Moody's. In late 2011, Fitch Ratings was the first to reinstate Indonesia's investment grade status after a 14-year hiatus. In January 2012, Moody’s followed suit citing the country’s resilient economy. S&P may follow soon, depending on the fuel price hike issue.

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  • The Ongoing Quest for the Reduction in Indonesia's Fuel Subsidy

    Fuel Price Hike Indonesia - Indonesia Investments - Richard van der Schaar

    The heavily subsidized fuel price of Indonesia is likely to be raised next month according to Indonesian media sources. Various high officials, including Economic minister Hatta Rajasa, discussed the possibility to raise the fuel price from IDR 4,500 (USD $0.46) to IDR 6,500 (USD $0.67) per liter starting from May. This increase will only apply to private passenger cars, and not to motorcycles and public transportation. However, president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has not made up his mind yet.

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  • Tourism in Indonesia: One of Indonesia's Untapped Potentials? (Part I)

    Tourism in Indonesia Untapped Potential - Richard van der Schaar

    Whenever the topic of tourism in Indonesia is touched upon, most people will instantly think of Bali. This small but famous island harbors all sorts of entertainment that will appeal to various segments of international tourism: beautiful landscapes, Balinese Hinduism, lively nightclubs, beaches and more. But apart from Bali - and despite the fact that Indonesia has much to offer on other islands - the country has disappointed in attracting a large amount of foreign tourists so far.

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  • Indonesia's Widening Trade Deficit and Increasing Inflation Pressure the Rupiah

    Trade Deficit Indonesia - Analyse Indonesia Investments - Richard van der Schaar

    Yesterday, Statistics Indonesia (BPS), a non-departmental government institution, released Indonesia's export and import numbers of February 2013. Indonesia's imports reached US $15.32 billion, while its exports stood at US $14.99 billion. It has thus resulted in the continuation of a trade deficit (US $327.4 million). For Indonesia, which always reported trade surpluses until last year, it is a worrying scenario as the trade deficit and higher inflation put pressure on the IDR rupiah.

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