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

  • Impact of Fed's Interest Rate Hike on the Value of Indonesia's Rupiah

    Impact of Fed's Interest Rate Hike on the Value of Indonesia's Rupiah

    Stock markets in Asia are mixed, yet tepid on Friday (16/12) after the US Federal Reserve raised its interest rate regime for the second time in a decade on Wednesday (14/12). Although the Fed's move was widely anticipated (and therefore already "priced in" to a high degree) it still resulted in some capital outflows from Asia's stock markets on Thursday (13/12). Japan, as usual, is the notable exception as US dollar strength (or yen weakness) makes Japan's export-oriented stocks more attractive.

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  • Politics & Law in Indonesia: Ahok's Blasphemy Trial

    Politics & Law in Indonesia: Ahok's Blasphemy Trial

    A high profile trial is about to start in Indonesia. On Tuesday (13/12) incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok), a Christian of Chinese descent, will visit the Jakarta Court for the first day of his trial. Ahok is prosecuted for blasphemy, an offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years in Indonesia. After the Vietnamese iced coffee murder case, this is another huge court case followed not only by the Indonesian people, but also by the international community that is concerned about rising intolerance in Indonesia.

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  • Netherlands Sends Trade Mission to Indonesia, Rutte Addresses Parliament

    Netherlands Sends Trade Mission to Indonesia, Rutte Addresses Parliament

    On 23 November 2016 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will become the first Dutch prime minister to address Indonesian parliament. It is rare for foreign political leaders to speak to Indonesian parliament. Rutte's speech is part of a four-day Dutch trade mission program to Indonesia. Mark Rutte is accompanied by Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Lilianne Ploumen, Infrastructure and the Environment Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma. In recent years the Netherlands and Indonesia have both been eager to enhance bilateral relations.

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  • Asian Stocks Sliding on US Election Jitters, It's All about Safety

    Asian Stocks Sliding on US Election Jitters, It's All about Safety

    Asian stocks, including Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index, continue their persistent slide on Friday (04/11) ahead of the US presidential election on Tuesday 8 November 2016. By 10:45 am local Jakarta time, Indonesian stocks were down 0.29 percent to 5,314.00 points, while the rupiah had depreciated 0.14 percent to IDR 13,093 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). Besides the too-close-to-call US election, investors are also keeping an eye on the mass demonstration in Jakarta today.

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  • Jessica vs Mirna: Vietnamese Iced Coffee Murder in Cafe Olivier

    Jessica vs Mirna: Vietnamese Iced Coffee Murder in Cafe Olivier

    Despite being a hot topic in Indonesia since the start of the year, we ignored the murder case of Mirna Salihin. However, we decided to devote one article on the topic because on Thursday (27/10) Mirna's friend, 27-year old Jessica Kumala Wongso, was sentenced to 20 years in prison having been found guilty - by the Central Jakarta District Court - of murdering Mirna by putting cyanide in her Vietnamese iced coffee. The whole case and trial bear resemblance to the O.J. Simpson murder case in Los Angeles (USA) in 1995 in terms of public attention and media coverage.

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