Features

Can Jokowi boost Indonesia?

Indonesian president Joko Widodo, known as “Jokowi”, has been sworn in for a second five-year term. He has pledged to turn his country into one of the world’s top five economies by 2045

Indonesian president Joko Widodo, known as "Jokowi", has been sworn in for a second five-year term, says Amy Chew in the South China Morning Post. He pledged to turn his country into one of the world's top five economies by 2045 by overhauling an "inefficient, corruption-riddled bureaucracy".

Asia's third-largest country by population, Indonesia has vast potential. Half of the population is under 30. While Jokowi presents himself as a business-friendly reformer, he has also formed an alliance with his country's Islamist movement. Plans to outlaw insulting the president and expand blasphemy laws sparked a wave of protests recently. Planned reforms to labour laws have also seen workers rebel.

Indonesia rose from 128th to 73rd in the World Bank's "ease of doing business index" during Jokowi's first term in power, note Jun Suzuki and Shotaro Tani for the Nikkei Asian Review. Now his top challenge will be to reignite a "sputtering economy". Growth will slow to 5% this year, a rate regarded as "the minimum needed for businesses to keep investing". The US-China trade war is a chance for southeast Asia to grow its manufacturing base. Yet most of the firms that have left China have relocated to Vietnam, with few opting for Indonesia's "red tape". It remains to be seen if Jokowi can make good on his ambitious promises of reform.

Recommended

Julian Brigden: markets are at a huge inflexion point
Investment strategy

Julian Brigden: markets are at a huge inflexion point

Merryn talks to Julian Brigden of Macro Intelligence 2 Partners about the unwinding of the US stockmarket's super-bubble, and the risks and opportunit…
25 Jan 2022
Has growth investing had its day? Don’t be so sure
Growth investing

Has growth investing had its day? Don’t be so sure

Markets – and “jam tomorrow” growth stocks in particular – continue to crash, with some analysts forecasting a 50% drop or more. But, says Max King, a…
25 Jan 2022
Tech stock carnage: do you think Apple, Amazon and Alphabet will save you? Think again
Tech stocks

Tech stock carnage: do you think Apple, Amazon and Alphabet will save you? Think again

As tech stocks continued to slide, there is a view that you can escape all the carnage by holding really high quality profitable stocks. That view is …
24 Jan 2022
Which assets will benefit as the “jam tomorrow” bubble pops?
Investment strategy

Which assets will benefit as the “jam tomorrow” bubble pops?

With tech stocks, cryptocurrencies and many other “long duration” investments crashing hard, the “jam tomorrow” bubble looks to be bursting. John Step…
24 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners
Investment strategy

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners

Under our system of shareholder capitalism it's not fund managers, it‘s the individual investors – the company's ultimate owners – who should be telli…
24 Jan 2022
Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now
Share tips

Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now

Professional investor Fay Ren of the Cerno Pacific Fund highlights three of her favourite Asian stocks to buy now
24 Jan 2022
Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is
Inflation

Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is

As inflation bites and the labour market remains tight, many of the nation's employees are asking for a pay rise. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why yo…
17 Jan 2022