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.

Organization Indonesia Investments
  Business Consultancy
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

  • Presidential Election Indonesia 2019: Another Jokowi-Prabowo Battle?

    Presidential Election Indonesia 2019: Another Jokowi-Prabowo Battle?

    Indonesia's 2019 presidential election is likely to become another battle between incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Gerindra party Chairman Prabowo Subianto. Both men had already been engaged in a fierce contest in 2014, one that was only narrowly won by Jokowi. On Wednesday evening (11/04) Subianto formally accepted the mandate of the Gerindra party to compete as presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election (scheduled for 17 April 2019).

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  • 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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