In the past days, Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy has been in the spotlight of Indonesian media continuously. When it was reported that incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and newly elected president Joko Widodo would meet on the island of Bali this week to discuss various transitional matters, speculation emerged that the country’s generous fuel subsidies, which seriously burden the government’s budget as well as current account, might be wound down before the new government is inaugurated in October 2014.
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, stepped 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 taught Indonesian languages and cultures at a local university, while realizing the economic potential of the country in a world where the economic gravity point is 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 condition of the country and through frequent visits to Indonesia established a network with businesses and government circles.
"One of the most important aspects of doing business in Indonesia is to comprehend Indonesia's culture of business."
|Institute||Business Consultant Indonesia Affairs|
|Position|| Owner | Director
|Expertise||Macroeconomy | Cultural Studies | History|
Columns of R.M.A. van der Schaar
The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as the Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) rose 0.36 percent to 5,162.25 points on Wednesday (27/08), effectively ending a three- day losing streak as positive US economic data and increased speculation that the Indonesian government will tackle the fuel subsidy issue. Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.22 percent to IDR 11,682 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, particularly on high hopes that Indonesia’s fuel subsidies will be reduced.
The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced two important matters on Thursday (14/08). Firstly, the institution decided to maintain the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the overnight deposit facility rate (Fasbi) at 5.75 percent, and the lending facility rate at 7.50 percent. Secondly, it announced that Indonesia’s current account deficit widened to USD $9.1 billion, or, 4.27 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2014, a widening that is larger than initially forecast.
Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, commented on Indonesia’s troubled current account balance on Tuesday (12/08). Martowardojo said that he expects the balance to improve in 2014. Last year, the current account deficit of Southeast Asia’s largest economy reached 3.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP); a level which is generally regarded as unsustainable. This year, the deficit may ease to 3 percent of GDP. For investors the current account balance is an important matter. Why?
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Tuesday (05/08) that Indonesia’s economy grew 5.12 percent in the second quarter of 2014 from the same quarter last year. This means that gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Indonesia has continued the slowing trend it has been experiencing since 2011. The 5.12 percentage point GDP growth in Q2-2014 is the slowest growth pace that has been recorded by Southeast Asia’s largest economy since the fourth quarter of 2009. What explains this slowing economic growth of Indonesia?