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

  • Booming Aviation Industry in Indonesia Continues its Fast Pace

    One of the industries that has been showing remarkable growth in recent years in Indonesia is the aviation industry. Blessed with robust macro economic growth and a burgeoning middle class, the country's population is increasingly using airplanes as means of transportation. Considering the magnitude of Indonesia, its island rich composition and underdeveloped road and rail network, air travel is an efficient option.

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  • BKPM: Foreign and Domestic Investment Realization Increases 18.7% in Q4 2012

    BKPM Indonesia Investments

    The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) of Indonesia announced today that investment realization figures for domestic and foreign direct investment in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by 18.7 percent to IDR 83.3 trillion (US $9 billion) compared to the same period in 2011 (when it was IDR 70.2 trillion). For the whole year of 2012, the cumulative of investment realization is IDR 313.2 trillion, implying that it had surpassed the government target of IDR 283.5 trillion.

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  • Indonesian Government Releases Official GDP Growth Figure for the Year 2012

    An official at Indonesia's Finance Ministry announced today that Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.23% in 2012, thus failing to meet the government's revised target of 6.3-6.5%. Factors that contributed to Indonesia's lower than expected economic growth last year were weak exports due to poor international trade and non-optimal government spending. On the positive side, all sectors of the Indonesian economy experienced growth.

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  • The Rise of Indonesia's Cement Production and Consumption

    Both Indonesia's cement production and cement consumption have risen rapidly in recent years. As the country has been showing solid economic growth for a decade - and is forecast to continue this growth -, property and infrastructure projects have grown in number accordingly, thus increasing demand for building materials such as cement. Moreover, the government is committed to enhance the country's much-needed infrastructure development.

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