Somehow, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seems to be doing a fine job in prompting Indonesians to get their acts together. The results are showing.
From a choking dictatorship that it once was, Susilo has led Indonesia on a robust pursuit for democracy, and many analysts think he is making rapid progress. Naturally, the positive sentiment has transformed into bullish numbers.
The country’s macroeconomic management has been widely praised, and despite weakened global economy and sharp falls in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in major economies, Indonesia has been growing steadily.
Not only is GDP growth anticipated to exceed 4.5 per cent for the year, the rupiah has also strengthened and inflation has been kept under control.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently raised its forecast on Indonesia’s economic growth.
The economic performance in the first quarter of 2009, when real GDP grew by 4.4 per cent year-on-year, was surprisingly strong, owing mainly to the resilience of private consumption, the EIU said.
The EIU now expects real GDP to expand by 2.4 per cent this year, compared with a contraction of 1.4 per cent in its previous forecast.
It expects growth to accelerate to 3.2 per cent in 2010, up from 0.5 per cent previously.
Like many other countries, Indonesia also launched an economic stimulus package to weather the current turbulence, and analysts say its gambit has shown results.
Many attributed the much improved private consumption, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP, to the government’s US$6.9 billion (RM24.3 billion) stimulus package which, by and large, put more money in the hands of civil servants.
While doing so, it has kept a tight leash on prices and thus enable the injection of funds to translate into real increase in disposable income.
And they say good news travels fast. Foreign investors, aided by bullish reports by analysts covering the country, have brought back Indonesia into their radars.
Which means there is every likelihood of Indonesia becoming a competitive destination for foreign investment once again.
And which was why several captains of businesses I met this week said they were a bit concerned that we, in Malaysia, seems preoccupied with other extraneous issues, even when others around us are getting back on their feet.
The captains of business were concerned that lest we take note of successes of the likes of Susilo, we are running the great risk of having to play catch-up soon.
Source: Business Times Malaysia
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