Thursday, May 31, 2012

Looking East to Indonesia - Yudhoyono's interview with WSJ

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Yesterday, I was reading Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's interview with Wall Street Journal. With a vision for progress, backed by solid record in economy Yudhoyono is one of the major leaders from South East Asia. For those who are still sceptical about Indonesia and her president let me remained you that Indonesia with a per capita income of $3000(per year) beat India in growth rate for the last two quarters, and expected to grow more than 6% this year. If things are going in this way, India will have to struggle very hard to recover the position of second fastest growing major economy in the world.

Some of the major points I like to point out form the interview are,

1. "I hope that the pro-growth, pro-poor, pro-job, and pro-environment strategy will create more tangible results. I also hope that Indonesia makes more progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals."

2. “Indonesia will need more products and services, including from other countries”.

3. “Our total trade value with the world continues to increase. To give some numbers, from 2010-2011, our export value has increased by 30% from $157.8 billion to $203.5 billion. Following such a trend, our import has increased by 31% during the same period, from $135.66 billion to $177.43 billion”

4. “Total inflow of foreign direct investment into Indonesia has increased quite significantly by 20% from 2010 to 2011, from US$16.21 billion to US$19.47 billion”.

5. “For our domestic industry, this trend of international trade has opened up new markets and export destinations for Indonesian abroad. Nevertheless, at the same time, it also opens up Indonesia for foreign products. This challenges our domestic industry to remain competitive by being innovative, creative, and efficient. They have to uplift their capabilities to be on par with other global players”. 

6. “Indonesia also endeavours to "make life easier for investors": I have told my officials that we can no longer do business as usual. We seek to create a more conducive investment climate and address the inefficiency. For that, Indonesia has taken some measures to conduct serious bureaucratic reforms and streamline the process to start business in the country”.

7. “My government is determined and committed to eradicate corruption in this country... more people brought to justice, and also more people being charged for their wrong doings. This is simply unprecedented. It is also noteworthy that in respecting the principle of equality before the law, even high-ranking government officials have been charged as they were proven guilty”.

8. “With regards to regulations in Indonesia, government officials are obliged to disseminate the regulations to the public and also provide information when being requested by the public. If there is any confusing regulation, companies should not hesitate to consult with the relevant government officials”.

9. “In the case of Indonesia, Islam and democracy can go hand-in-hand. Indonesia is the largest Muslim population in the world, but we are not an Islamic state. We have shown that Islam, democracy, and modernity can live together in harmony”. 

India really needs to look east. Instead of wasting time in never ending political gambles and other energy consuming activities we have to sit together and check where it went wrong in our economy? It’s not that we are not doing anything, but at the same time simply doing something won't take us anywhere.


For reading the full interview please visit WSJ - Yudhoyono: Still Lots to Do

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

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