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


Columns of R.M.A. van der Schaar

  • 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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  • Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    After two years in office, the time is ripe now to take a look at the performance and accomplishments of the government under the leadership of Joko Widodo, often called Jokowi. Indonesia's seventh president was a bit unlucky. In the first year of his rule, commodity prices were at multi-year lows (curbing Indonesia's foreign exchange earnings) amid sluggish global economic growth, while capital outflows from Indonesia occurred on the back of monetary tightening in the USA, sending the rupiah to a 17-year low in September 2015.

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  • Weak Tax Revenue Indonesia in 1H-2016, Spotlight on Tax Amnesty

    Weak Tax Revenue Indonesia in 1H-2016, Spotlight on Tax Amnesty

    Indonesia's tax revenue realization in the first half of 2016 was disappointing. According to the latest data, Southeast Asia's largest economy collected a total of IDR 518.4 trillion (approx. USD $39.6 billion) worth of tax revenue (including customs and excise) in the first six months of 2016, down 3.3 percent (y/y) from tax revenue realization in the same period one year earlier, and only 33.7 percent of total targeted tax revenue (IDR 1,539.2 trillion) set in the revised 2016 State Budget. The disappointing performance is mainly due to weak tax income from the oil and gas sector.

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  • Islam & Indonesian Culture: Impact of Idul Fitri on the Economy

    Islam & Indonesian Culture: Impact of Idul Fitri on the Economy

    Next week Indonesia's financial and stock markets are closed for Idul Fitri (also known as Lebaran or Eid al-Fitr), the celebrations that mark the end of the holy Islamic fasting month (Ramadan). As usual, during the Ramadan month (that started in early June) business activities in Indonesia start to slow and this slowdown will reach its "peak" during the Idul Fitri holiday, a national holiday (from Monday 4 July to Friday 8 July) when some 17.6 million Indonesians who live and work in the bigger cities will return to their places of origin for a couple of days (a tradition called mudik).

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  • Analysis Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah: Post-Brexit Recovery

    Analysis Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah: Post-Brexit Recovery

    As expected, Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index fell on Friday (01/07) due to profit-taking after an impressive recent (relief) rally that brought the index into bull market territory earlier this week. Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah maintained its momentum, appreciating 0.72 percent to IDR 13,115 per US dollar on the first day of the new month, the currency's strongest level in three and a half months. Most Asian emerging markets have now repaired their earlier Brexit-induced losses.

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