Briefing on February 15 Jakarta Gubernatorial Elections

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, gubernatorial elections were held in Jakarta and across Indonesia. Jakarta’s candidates included incumbent Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, former education minister Anies Baswedan, and Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. As no candidate received the needed 50 percent of votes plus one, there will be a run-off election between Purnama and Baswedan on April 19, 2017.

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Indonesia 2016: Twelve Months in Review

Vriens & Partners Indonesia Annual Report, 2016 covers the country’s political, regulatory, and economic landscape of 2016 as well as expectations and predictions for 2017. In general, 2016 saw President Joko Widodo become increasingly confident in his leadership, even amid signs of vulnerability stemming from unrest in Jakarta. On the regulatory side, cross-sector localization efforts continued to expand, and the government prioritized increasing its tax base. Going forward, the Widodo Administration appears to have set a more realistic approach to meeting its goals, which include food security, transportation infrastructure development, electrification, and developing the services and manufacturing sectors.

To read more, download the full report here.

Briefing on July 27, 2016 Cabinet Reshuffle

On July 27, 2016, President Widodo announced thirteen changes to his Cabinet following months of rumors and several rounds of evaluation. Of the thirty-four positions in the Cabinet, nine new members were introduced and four were shifted to different roles. The changes involved some officials who were only appointed in August 2015. This reshuffle reflects a clear effort by President Widodo to reclaim control of his Cabinet, inject more effective people, and boost his political capital.

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ASEAN Economic Community: Potential, reality, and the role for business

Come 31st December 2015, the leaders of the 10 ASEAN member states intend to declare victory: the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will have been successfully established – at least that is what they will claim publicly. As validation, they will refer to the “Scorecard”, a set of measures designed to track the progress made by member states in making AEC a reality. In reality the AEC will still be a work in progress.

That said, it would be a mistake to take lightly the importance of the AEC. ASEAN member states have and will continue to make headway, with important and far-reaching implications for business. The ASEAN region has immense potential that remains untapped, and the AEC outlines a long list of important goals for ASEAN’s members to strive towards. The role of business here cannot be understated; the private sector is a tremendous source of global expertise, experience, and resources that be harnessed to help make the AEC a reality.

 The AEC is an ambitious project, promising the free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and freer movement of capital across ten member states for the 600 million people in Southeast Asia. Now more than ever, the private sector needs to take a greater interest and play a larger role in shaping ASEAN and the AEC in ways that will benefit the people of Southeast Asia.

 This 36 page long detailed report provides an overview of the potential that AEC brings to the region, the reality on the ground, and the role that business can play in helping to make that potential a reality.

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Vriens & Partners Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index 2014

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In this year’s Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index, Indonesia tumbled to fifteenth due to the enactment of several protectionist regulations. In contrast, improvements in rule of law, openness to international trade & business, and political stability boosted Vietnam to thirteenth. Singapore retained the top spot while New Zealand unseated Hong Kong for second place. As a group, the Southeast Asian economies are attracting record levels of FDI as the region increasingly opens to foreign investment ahead of the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

Overall, the relative consistency in the rankings from 2013 to 2014 reveals that high profile political events have not significantly altered the climate for foreign investment in the short term. Gains in openness to international trade & business, fiscal & monetary administration, and rule of law have largely offset losses in political stability in some markets. These gains in openness are largely driven by greater economic integration through participation in bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements.

index 2014 ranking

The Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index is the only publication that examines the relationship between political and economic governance and foreign direct investment across the region. The Index evaluates and ranks 20 Asia Pacific countries according to six criteria: Rule of Law, Openness to International Trade & Business, Taxation, Corruption, Political Stability, and Fiscal & Monetary Administration.

As investor interest in the Asia Pacific soars, the Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index serves as a reference to help readers understand and evaluate the region’s political and economic dynamics. Aside from aiding international investors in their decision making, the data from this index can help policymakers identify areas for improvement to increase the competiveness of their countries and attract higher quality foreign investment to catalyse development and transform their economies.