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


----------------

Columns of R.M.A. van der Schaar

  • Rupiah & Stocks Weaken Ahead of Bank Indonesia Policy Meeting

    Rupiah & Stocks Weaken Ahead of Bank Indonesia Policy Meeting

    Investors are clearly waiting for results of Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governor’s Meeting, conducted today (19/05). In this monthly policy meeting, Indonesia’s central bank will decide on its monetary approach. For most market participants it is of crucial importance to learn whether Bank Indonesia will adjust its interest rate policy in order to support the country’s economic growth (which slowed to a five-year low in the first quarter of 2015). Ahead of results, scheduled to be released this afternoon, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah weaken.

    Read column ›

  • Economic Update Indonesia: Stocks, Rupiah, Infrastructure & Economy

    Economic Update Indonesia: Stocks, Rupiah, Infrastructure & Economy

    Ahead of the release of Indonesia’s official first quarter GDP growth figure (scheduled to be released in the first week of May), Indonesian stocks fell and the rupiah depreciated (slightly) against the US dollar on the back of weak market sentiments that have plagued Indonesian markets over the past week. Most importantly, weaker-than-expected Q1-2015 corporate earnings reports of listed Indonesian blue chips have made market participants concerned that Indonesia’s economic slowdown has continued into the first quarter of 2015.

    Read column ›

  • Economy of Indonesia: Inflation, Trade, Interest Rates & Rupiah Update

    Indonesia’s consumer price index fell for the second consecutive month in February 2015, recording deflation of 0.36 percent month-on-month (m/m) in February, while on an annual basis Indonesian inflation eased to 6.29 percent (y/y), down from 6.96 percent (y/y) in the preceding month. Inflationary pressures declined primarily on the back of lower prices of chili peppers and fuel. Easing inflation in Southeast Asia’s largest economy may provide room for Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) to cut interest rates further this year.

    Read column ›

  • Analysis Indonesian Rupiah; Factors that Influence the Rupiah

    The Indonesian rupiah strengthened on Monday (16/02) as the country’s twin current account and trade balances improved, while the US dollar weakened on disappointing US retail sales and on optimism that Greece will remain a member of the Eurozone. Meanwhile, Indonesia's Finance Ministry held a successful auction today in which it sold IDR 12 trillion (USD $942 million) of conventional bonds. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s rupiah appreciated 0.35 percent to IDR 12,753 per US dollar based on Monday (16/02).

    Read column ›

  • Analysis Global Market Volatility: Impact on Indonesia’s Rupiah

    Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate and stocks opened stable on Wednesday (17/12) after two days marked by severe pressures on emerging market assets. By 11:30 am local Jakarta time, Indonesia’s rupiah was down 0.09 percent to IDR 12,736 per US dollar (according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index), while Indonesian stocks were up 0.41 percent by the same time. Yesterday, the rupiah nearly touched IDR 13,000 per US dollar (its lowest level since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998), before the central bank decided to support the currency.

    Read column ›