Indonesia

  • Jokowi's cautious approach doesn't allow for much economic progress.

    Living a Little Dangerously (Politically) May Help Indonesia's Jokowi

    The year in Indonesian politics began with a novice president in Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who, while struggling with day-to-day politics, still inspired hope that he would pursue the unfinished business of democratisation. After putting some early blunders behind him, Jokowi spent much of the year pursuing a workable compromise between appeasing the establishment and satisfying voters’ expectations for less corruption and more public goods. As the year draws to a close the president is on firmer political ground but hopes for serious reform have almost entirely evaporated.

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  • Indonesia's extractive sectors are mired in political turf wars.

    Indonesia's Jokowi Tackles Extractive Sector Reform

    Investment in Indonesia’s extractive sectors has languished for years, hurt by regulatory confusion, low commodity prices and endemic corruption. With hydrocarbon and mineral industries, constituting over 40 percent of Indonesia’s exports, and energy consumption rising at home, reform is important to secure the country’s future economic development.

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  • Indonesia's Jokowi turns diplomacy toward economics.

    Indonesian Diplomacy Uses ASEAN to Gain Some Leverage

    Since President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) took office, he has been clear and consistent in explaining his foreign policy priorities, enunciating the principle of putting ‘national interest’ first. Putting national interest first is to be expected in a leader’s foreign policy. What has been notable is the way that Jokowi has defined ‘national interest’. Put simply, Indonesia’s policy has shifted from one based on values to one based on economics.

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  • Simultaneous elections likely won't achieve ambitious goals.

    Can the Next Indonesian Election Achieve Lofty Goals?

    On 9 December, Indonesia will have its first simultaneous local executive elections to elect governors, district heads and mayors in 269 localities (out of 537) across Indonesia. While direct election of local executives has been held since 2004, this is the first time these elections will be held simultaneously on a single day.

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  • Indonesia could do well to fight economic crime with SBEZs.

    Crime Fighting with SBEZs

    As South-East Asian countries gear up for their ASEAN Economic Community, coming into effect by the end of this year, Indonesia should look into setting up special economic zones together with bordering countries.

    These special zones are in line with the ASEAN Economic Community’s blueprint to support local businesses and allow people and goods to move freely between states. Having countries jointly set up economic hubs in border areas can minimise territorial disputes, reduce cross-border crimes, and improve the lives of people living in remote outposts.

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  • Indonesia, a middle-income country, may be trapped in that role.

    Stuck in the Middle with You - and Indonesia

    Indonesia became a middle-income country in 2004. Indonesia’s growth rates — while superior to those of most developing countries — remain below those of East Asia’s most dynamic economies. So why hasn’t the country grown faster still and why does growth appear slower in the democratic era than that of Suharto?

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  • Insiders are questioning Indonesia's Jokowi's leadership.

    If Indonesia's Jokowi Wants to Demonstrate His Leadership Skills, He Should Hurry

    The higher they rise, the harder they fall. No politician in post-Suharto Indonesia has risen higher and faster than Joko Widodo (Jokowi), whose win in the 2014 presidential elections was considered a breath of fresh air for a vibrant but corrupt democracy. The reality of his presidency, though, is not what civil society, foreign governments and investors were crossing their fingers. After eight months in office, Jokowi looks surprisingly conservative, out of touch, and out of his depth.

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  • How about an Indonesian decentralization plan to go with the allocated money?

    It Will Take More Than a Village in Indonesia

    Nearly 15 years after embarking on its large-scale decentralisation initiative, Indonesia has decided to extend its efforts to the village level. Decentralising to the nearly 74,000 villages is intended to improve service delivery performance at the lowest administrative tier and reduce social inequality and poverty. However, the initiative is all money, with no clear plan.

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  • Jokowi will make sure not to lose Papua like it did with Timor-Leste.

    Indonesia's Jokowi Winning Hearts and Minds in Papua

    President Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) has affirmed giving special attention to the Papua region, comprising the two provinces of Papua and West Papua. The region has endured a low-level guerrilla insurgency from a militant Papuan independence movement since 1969. Under the nationalist Trisakti doctrine, the new policy will focus on bolstering greater security capabilities in the conflict-prone outermost areas of Indonesia, such as Papua.

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  • Indonesia's infrastructure needs are not insurmountable, but it is close.

    Indonesia's Infrastructure Progress is Thwarted by its Decentralized Structure

    Indonesia faces a serious infrastructure crisis, which could slow or even halt its economic development if not addressed effectively. Today, only 81 percent of households have modern access to electricity, only 61 percent are connected to sanitation systems and only 69 percent have access to clean water. Logistics costs are much higher than in neighbouring countries — average transport time per kilometre is 2.6 hours in Indonesia compared to 1.4 hours in Thailand and 1.2 hours in China.

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