Introduction of the March 2024 Report

At the time of writing this introduction we are slowly moving toward the end of the Ramadan month, which – for Muslims – is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. And, it certainly always is a happy occasion to experience the breaking of the fast in the evening with neighbours, colleagues or family.

Soon, Idul Fitri will arrive (the celebrations that mark the end of the fasting month). This, too, always brings a special atmosphere to Indonesia as millions and millions of people (city-dwellers) travel from the cities and suburbs to the smaller cities and rural areas to spend a couple of days with their families in their places of origin. This always gives rise to a huge money rotation, while a city like Jakarta turns into a sort of ghost city for a few days.

This March 2024 edition discusses some of the important economic, political and social matters that occurred in Indonesia in the month of March 2024. Certainly, we have to pay attention to the 2024 presidential election, again, as defeated candidates Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo are demanding a revote and disqualification of president-elect Prabowo Subianto at the Constitutional Court.

Based on media coverage of this case, we have not seen any concrete/hard evidence or convincing statements, and so this lawsuit seems to be an act out of desperation (similar to the case we saw in 2019 when then-defeated Prabowo Subianto failed to accept his loss). But it does mean that Indonesian society will still need to wait for a ruling before there is (absolute) certainty over who will become the country’s eight president. This ruling is scheduled to be announced on 22 April 2024.

And it might just be that the case is a contributing factor to the weak performance of Indonesian stocks and the rupiah rate (against the US dollar) in late-March and early April 2024, although chances seem to be very small that the Constitutional Court will disqualify Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming.

Besides the elections, we also present an in-depth analysis of the geothermal power sector of Indonesian in this March 2024 report. As is widely known, Indonesia holds great potential in terms of geothermal power (due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire) but has only managed to tap a fraction of that potential. However, what will become clear in the article is that the Indonesian government does not really seem to prioritize development of its geothermal resources. Moreover, there certainly are also some disadvantages that come along when developing geothermal energy.

Another interesting topic is that of the skyrocketing international cocoa bean prices. Indonesia ranks among the top cocoa bean producers (with the island of Sulawesi particularly playing a crucial role). In this March edition we offer an overview of the upstream cocoa sector of Indonesia. Can this sector, which has been facing a number of heavy challenges, take advantage of today’s high global cocoa bean prices?

And, as usual, we offer various analyses of Indonesia’s macroeconomic indicators in order to paint an insightful picture of the present state of the Indonesian economy. Topics discussed include inflation, trade, retail sales (household consumption), the performance of the rupiah, monetary policy, manufacturing activity, car sales, and consumer confidence.

Lastly, thank you for buying this edition! And, Indonesia Investments wishes those who celebrate Idul Fitri in the second week of April 2024 a Happy Eid Mubarak!

Richard van der Schaar, MA Indonesian Studies
Managing Director

For information about buying the March 2024 edition of our monthly report (an electronic report, PDF) -or to subscribe for a longer period- you can contact us through email and/or WhatsApp:

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Price of this report:

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Take a glance inside the report here!