Indonesian President Joko Widodo threw his support behind Perry Warjiyo for the position of central bank governor in the 2018-2023 period. Over the weekend Widodo stated that Warjiyo is his sole nominee for the key function at the nation's central bank (Bank Indonesia). The five-year term of incumbent Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo will end in May 2018.
Based on Law No. 3/2004 on the Central Bank, the names of Bank Indonesia governor candidates need to be presented by the Indonesian president to the House of Representatives (DPR), specifically Commission XI that oversees the finance and banking sectors, at least three months before the end of the governor's term. The DPR will then need to approve the president's nominee before a new Bank Indonesia governor can be installed.
Commission XI member Willgo Zainar, a Gerindra party lawmaker, confirmed that Widodo has submitted his nominee to the DPR. Meanwhile, Commission XI member Melchias Mekeng, a Golkar party lawmaker, said the DPR will conduct a fit and proper test first on Warjiyo before accepting his nomination. Warjiyo currently serves as Deputy Governor at Bank Indonesia.
Sofjan Wanandi, special advisor to Vice President Jusuf Kalla, said Widodo nominated Warjiyo because the latter has a long history at Bank Indonesia and ample knowledge about - and experience in - monetary policy making. Wanandi added that Widodo is highly supportive of a low interest rate environment in Indonesia (hence forming a source of economic growth).
Bank Indonesia had actually already aggressively cut its benchmark interest rate in recent years as inflation and the current account deficit are under control, while the rupiah has been relatively stable against the US dollar. But Widodo's nomination of Warjiyo for Bank Indonesia's top official - and not of incumbent Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo - could be a sign that Widodo believes there is more room for loosening Indonesia's monetary policy.
Earlier, names of several governor candidates circulated, most notably Agus Martowardojo, Bambang Brodjonegoro, Chatib Basri, and Perry Warjiyo.
Warjiyo has been working at Indonesia's central bank since 1984. Before becoming the central bank's Deputy Governor, he served as assistant governor for monetary, macroprudential and international policies, and executive director of the economic research and monetary policy department. He left Bank Indonesia for two years in the late 2000s to serve as executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representing 13 member countries of the South-East Asia Voting Group. He obtained his Master's and PhD degrees in monetary and international finance from Iowa State University (USA).
List of Bank Indonesia Governors:
|J. Soedradjad Djiwandono