On Wednesday 9 April 2014, the Indonesian electorate (consisting of about 190 million people out of a total population of around 250 million) will vote for both the country's national and regional legislatures. This legislative election also bears a big influence on the presidential election that is scheduled for 9 July 2014 as a minimum of 25 percent of the popular vote in the legislative election (or 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives, DPR) gives a party the authority to nominate a presidential candidate.
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
A shock wave went through Indonesia's financial markets on Friday (14/03) after 15:00 local Jakarta time, when it became known that Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is joining the presidential race for the July 2014 election. Moreover, he can count on full support from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), one of Indonesia's largest political parties, led by chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri. Few people doubt that Jokowi - current Governor of Jakarta - will be elected as the next president of Indonesia.
Fitch Ratings, one of the three major global credit rating agencies, estimates that Indonesia's current account deficit will reach USD $27.4 billion, equivalent to 3.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014. As such, Fitch Ratings' forecast is more pessimistic than forecasts presented by both Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) and government. Both these institutions expect to curb the current account deficit below the three percent of GDP mark (a sustainable level). Global investors continue to carefully monitor the deficit.
With Indonesia's presidential election approaching (9 July 2014), investors - both domestic and foreign - have become more hesitant to commit to large investments, instead preferring to wait for the election results first. Obviously, investors want to see a 'market friendly' president to lead Southeast Asia's largest economy for (at least) the next five years; a ruler who can safeguard a conducive investment climate. For the Indonesian people, a just ruler is needed; one who can improve Indonesia's political and social issues.
In 2013, Indonesia experienced a rough year in terms of stock trading. The world was shocked by Ben Bernanke’s speech in late May 2013 in which he hinted at an end to the Federal Reserve’s large monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing. Through this program, cheap US dollars found their way to lucrative yet riskier assets in emerging economies, including Indonesia. But when the end of the program was in sight, the market reacted by pulling billions of US dollars from emerging market bonds and equities.