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Survey of recent developments


  • Chris Manning
  • Kurnya Roesad


By June 2006, the government had largely completed the difficult tasks of stabilising macroeconomic conditions following the October 2005 fuel price increases, and of drawing up a blueprint to improve infrastructure and the investment climate. On the macroeconomic front, the main issues related to how, and how quickly, the economy could return to the growth rates of late 2004 and early 2005, given still low levels of private and public investment. Sound macroeconomic policies had delivered a stronger rupiah and reduced inflationary pressures, albeit with continued decelerating rates of growth. Private consumption and investment having slowed, government spending had become the key driver of growth, but major delays in public spending continued in the first four months of the year. The reform agenda includes an impressive raft of new laws, or revisions to old ones, in investment, taxation, customs and labour, all of which were covered under a special Presidential Instruction. However, actual reform was slowed by substantial political obstacles. There was growing concern about divisions within the cabinet on the reform package, and about the capacity of the ministerial team to guide reforms quickly through the bureaucracy and the parliament. This included doubts about the resoluteness of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) on reform initiatives in the face of vocal opposition (as in the case of labour reform), and about Vice President Jusuf Kalla's commitment when political or business interests close to him were opposed to change (as in the case of divestment of shares in Indonesia by the giant cement multinational, Cemex). Given likely delays in the reform package's impact on output and employment, uncertainty persists about the level of support the 'duumvirate' is prepared to offer reformist ministers, and about the political clout of the reformers themselves, as the government moves into the middle period of the electoral cycle. Examples of weak policy making include watered-down investment reforms, the seemingly 'quick-fix' approach underlying a proposal to set up special economic zones, and unsatisfactory handling of continuing disputes in the mining sector. A backdown on labour market reforms, at least for the present, has probably been the biggest setback to date in the SBY-Kalla team's attempt to promote investment: a poorly managed reform effort in terms of both substance and political strategy. Two other events shook Indonesia during the Survey period. A massive earthquake hit the Yogyakarta region on 27 May, killing nearly 6,000 people and leaving thousands homeless. And on the political front, the attorney general controversially dropped corruption charges against the ailing former president, Soeharto.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Manning & Kurnya Roesad, 2006. "Survey of recent developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 143-170.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bindes:v:42:y:2006:i:2:p:143-170
    DOI: 10.1080/00074910600873633

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Haryo Aswicahyono & Hal Hill, 2014. "Survey of Recent Developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 319-346, December.
    2. Reza Siregar, 2001. "Survey Of Recent Developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 277-303.
    3. Mari Pangestu & Miranda Swaray Goeltom, 2001. "Survey Of Recent Developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 141-171.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kelly Bird & Hal Hill & Sandy Cuthbertson, 2008. "Making Trade Policy in a New Democracy after a Deep Crisis: Indonesia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(7), pages 947-968, July.
    2. Aswicahyono, Haryo & Bird, Kelly & Hill, Hal, 2009. "Making Economic Policy in Weak, Democratic, Post-crisis States: An Indonesian Case Study," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 354-370, February.
    3. Arief Anshory Yusuf & Budy P. Resosudarmo, 2007. "Searching for Equitable Energy Pricing Reform for Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200701, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Dec 2007.
    4. Basri, Muhammad Chatib, 2013. "A Tale of Two Crises: Indonesia’s Political Economy," Working Papers 57, JICA Research Institute.
    5. Arief Anshory Yusuf & Ahmad Komarulzaman & Muhamad Purnagunawan & Budy P. Resosudarmo, 2013. "Growth, Poverty and Labor Market Rigidity in Indonesia: A General Equilibrium Investigation," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201304, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Jan 2013.
    6. Haryo Aswicahyono & Hal Hill & Dionisius Narjoko, 2010. "Industrialisation after a Deep Economic Crisis: Indonesia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(6), pages 1084-1108.
    7. Arief Anshory Yusuf & Irlan Adiyatma Rum, 2013. "Living beyond $2 a day: How Indonesia has progressed," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201313, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Jul 2013.

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