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

  • Government of Indonesia Supports Development Meikarta Project

    Government of Indonesia Supports Development Meikarta Project

    Indonesian Minister of Home Affairs, Tjahjo Kumolo, made a statement in support of the Lippo Group's controversial Meikarta integrated township project. At the Indonesia Future City & REI Mega Expo 2017 on Thursday (14/09) Kumolo said Indonesia's regional governments should not unnecessarily obstruct private projects that help to develop the regional economy. He cited Meikarta as an example.

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  • Economy of Indonesia in Q1-2017: Satisfied or Concerned?

    Economy of Indonesia in Q1-2017: Satisfied or Concerned?

    Overall, market participants are satisfied with Indonesia's economic growth in the first quarter of 2017. Indonesia's Statistics Agency (BPS) released the nation's official first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data on Friday (05/05). It showed a 5.01 percent year-on-year (y/y) growth pace in Q1-2017, in line with - and even above some institutions' - expectations. Moreover, the figure confirms that Indonesia's economic growth continues to accelerate. In the first quarters of 2015 and 2016 GDP growth was recorded at 4.71 percent (y/y) and 4.92 percent (y/y), respectively.

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  • Regulating the Ride-Hailing Apps Revolution in Indonesia

    Regulating the Ride-Hailing Apps Revolution in Indonesia

    On Saturday, 01 April, 2017, the new regulations for ride-hailing apps in Indonesia came into effect, designed to protect consumers of these apps and support traditional transportation services such as taxi operators, minivans, buses and motorcycle taxis. The regulations include maximum and minimum tariffs for four-wheeled-vehicle rides that are booked through the online app, as well as a limit on the number of vehicles available. However, authorities will give time to these ride-hailing apps to adjust to the new regulations due to the "magnitude of the technical rules".

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  • Protectionism in Indonesia: Falling Role of Commodities in the Economy

    Protectionism in Indonesia: Falling Role of Commodities in the Economy

    An interesting story was released on Bloomberg Markets Asia on Wednesday (29/03) about the sliding role of commodities in the Indonesian economy and the need for Southeast Asia's largest economy to find a new growth engine (or better: several new growth engines) that will take the country to economic growth levels of +7 percent year-on-year (y/y) as once pledged by Indonesian President Joko Widodo during his presidential campaign in 2014.

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  • Speech Richard van der Schaar at Stadiums & Arenas Asia Summit

    Speech Richard van der Schaar at Stadiums & Arenas Asia Summit

    On Tuesday 21 March 2017 Indonesia Investments' Managing Director Richard van der Schaar was among the speakers at the Stadiums and Arenas Asia Summit 2017, a two-day event, organized at the JW Marriot Hotel in Jakarta. With several high-profile international sports and music events being planned in Asia over the next decade (for example the Asian Games) there is the need for investment in stadium and arena infrastructure across the region. The Stadiums and Arenas Asia Summit 2017 aims to explore the key challenges that are faced by Southeast Asian governments and stadium owners.

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