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Indonesia’s Jokowi Sworn in as Wobbling Growth Tests Reforms
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Jokowi Targets $7 Trillion Indonesia Economy With New Cabinet
(Bloomberg) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo is due to unveil his cabinet on Monday after pledging to put the world’s fourth most populous country on path to become a $7 trillion economy by 2045.The president, who was sworn in for a second and final five-year term in office on Sunday, is widely expected to revamp his cabinet to include professionals, key opposition figures and industrialists and reboot his economic team as he seeks to boost investment and growth amid a global slowdown.Widodo, 58, took the oath of office at the parliament hall in Jakarta in a ceremony attended by several heads of state and representatives from more than 150 countries. Jokowi, as the president is known, immediately urged lawmakers to overhaul myriad of laws hindering investment and job creation to rid the country of poverty and lift the per-capita income to 320 million rupiah ($22,656) by the time Southeast Asia’s largest economy marks a century of its independence in 2045.“None of that will come automatically, and will not come easily,” Jokowi said in a speech after his inauguration. Indonesia must continue to innovate amid a world “full of risk, that is very dynamic.”Facing a public backlash over key reform plans in recent months, Jokowi has already reached across the aisle to opposition parties and the nation’s political elite in a bid strengthen his ruling coalition. The president has made amends with Prabowo Subianto, his rival in both the elections and a former general, as he bids to build a grand coalition to see through tougher economic reforms.The former furniture maker from Central Java was the first president to come from outside Indonesia’s elite or military and was returned to office following a landslide election win in April. Speculation has mounted in recent weeks about the possibility of Prabowo’s Gerindra party and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic party joining the government.He will be counting on new allies in parliament to also counter a push by the dynastic families, including some who backed his rise, to amend the constitution and gain greater influence over the government.Biggest Challenge“Jokowi’s biggest challenge in his second term will be managing a legislature that is dominated by establishment elites,” said Hugo Brennan, principal political analyst with Verisk Maplecroft. “Having Prabowo inside the tent would dilute the influence of political elites within Jokowi’s coalition that will seek to stymie his reform agenda.”But including the main opposition party in the cabinet may deprive the young democracy of any mechanism for checks and balances on the government, Brennan said. It would also “fuel a culture of political horse-trading that undermines the policy-making process,” he said.Jokowi has vowed sweeping reforms in his second term, insisting in an interview early this month he would seek to overhaul the nation’s labor law by the end of the year. The president said he would also move to open up the economy further with changes to Indonesia’s negative investment list, which governs foreign ownership levels across a myriad of sectors.He’s repeatedly said the reforms were needed to support the economy which grew 5.05% in the second quarter, the slowest in two years. The International Monetary Fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook, revised down its forecast for Indonesian growth this year to 5% from 5.2% in July.Infrastructure DriveWhile Jokowi’s first tenure was dominated by an infrastructure drive, the second term must see a boost in “soft infrastructure” including legal reform, anti-corruption measures and education, Satria Sambijantoro, an economist at PT Bahana Sekuritas in Jakarta.“If we are looking at long-term economic policy, especially amid the escalating global uncertainty, reform of the labor law is probably the low-hanging fruit for the president to start to achieve some of the long-term economic vision,” Satria said.The president has also promised to gradually lower the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% by 2023 to make Indonesia more competitive. Still, he is already facing public anger over some of his plans, with protesters rallying against the labor market reforms, a crime bill and legislation that weakened the nation’s anti-graft agency.If Indonesia is to follow the likes of China and become one of the world’s biggest economies it must continue with reforms in areas like human resources, Satria said. “In the next five years, the president needs to focus not only on short-term economic policies but also on long-term policies.”\--With assistance from Rieka Rahadiana.To contact the reporters on this story: Karlis Salna in Jakarta at ksalna@bloomberg.net;Viriya Singgih in Jakarta at vsinggih@bloomberg.net;Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Kutty Abraham at tabraham4@bloomberg.net;Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Jokowi Picks Main Rival, Startup Founder for Indonesia Cabinet
(Bloomberg) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo asked the nation’s opposition leader and the founder of its biggest startup to join a revamped cabinet as he puts the Southeast Asian nation on a path to become a $7 trillion economy.Prabowo Subianto, the president’s challenger in the 2014 and 2019 elections, told reporters he was offered a ministerial post in the defense sector after meeting with Widodo in Jakarta on Monday. Nadiem Makarim, the 35-year-old co-founder of ride-hailing service Gojek, said he was also offered a cabinet post.Jokowi, as the 58-year-old president is known, was sworn in for a second and final five-year term on Sunday, pledging to overhaul a host of laws hindering investment and job creation. He wants to boost the size of the $1 trillion economy to $7 trillion by 2045 and lift per-capita income to 320 million rupiah ($22,656) by then.Prabowo, a former general, said he accepted Jokowi’s offer to join the cabinet and confirmed his Gerindra party would get a second post to be filled by Edhy Prabowo, who is not related to the opposition leader.“Today we were officially asked, and we have accepted,” Prabowo said, adding he would “work as hard as possible” to achieve the targets and expectations set by the president.Jokowi met with several high profile figures who may get cabinet posts, including the following:Prabowo, chairman of the Gerindra partyMakarim, co-founder of Indonesia’s first startup unicorn GojekAirlangga Hartarto, chairman of Golkar party and currently industry ministerMohammad Mahfud Mahmodin, a former Constitutional Court judgeErick Thohir, a successful businessman who spearheaded the president’s election campaign teamJokowi said he’s looking for fresh energy in his new team, which is expected to be announced and sworn in Wednesday.“I want elected ministers to be innovative, productive, hardworking and fast,” he said on Twitter. “A figure who is not stuck in a monotonous routine. Our task is not only to make and implement policies, but to ensure that people enjoy services and development outcomes.”The U.S.-traded Indonesian ETF, known as iShares MSCI Indonesian ETF, rose 0.9% Monday, outpacing a 0.1% rise in the Jakarta Composite Index.Facing a public backlash over some planned reforms and controversial laws, Jokowi is reaching out to former political foes and the nation’s political elite to help strengthen his ruling coalition. A plan to amend the criminal code, which would infringe on free speech and human rights, and the passing of a law that weakened the nation’s anti-graft agency have already prompted waves of street protests, on top of deadly violence in the restive Papua region.The president will be counting on new allies in parliament to also counter a push by the dynastic families, including some who backed his rise, to amend the constitution and gain greater influence over the government.“It is consistent with Jokowi’s strategy of seeking to co-opt or coerce his opponents into his coalition where he can,” said Aaron Connelly, a research fellow on Southeast Asian politics at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore.“He has calculated that this approach leads to greater political stability, at least in the short term and protects him against attempts to remove him from office, which he has worried about from day one,” Connelly said.Jokowi has vowed sweeping reforms in his second term, pledging to overhaul the nation’s labor law by the end of the year and opening up more industries in the economy to foreign investors. He’s also promised to gradually lower the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% by 2023 to make Indonesia more competitive.Economic growth has hovered around 5% for most of Jokowi’s first term, with the International Monetary Fund recently revising down its forecast for this year to 5% from 5.2% in July.While Jokowi’s first tenure was dominated by an infrastructure drive, the second term must see a boost in “soft infrastructure” including legal reform, anti-corruption measures and education, Satria Sambijantoro, an economist at PT Bahana Sekuritas in Jakarta. Reform of the labor law is probably “low-hanging fruit,” he said.(Updates with market reaction in 10th paragraph)\--With assistance from Rieka Rahadiana and Harry Suhartono.To contact the reporters on this story: Karlis Salna in Jakarta at ksalna@bloomberg.net;Viriya Singgih in Jakarta at vsinggih@bloomberg.net;Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net;Thomas Kutty Abraham at tabraham4@bloomberg.net;Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Gojek Founder Joins Indonesia Cabinet as Jokowi Revamps Economy
(Bloomberg) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s new cabinet is taking shape with some well-known business figures set to join his team as he pledges to put the world’s fourth most-populous country on path to become a $7 trillion economy by 2045.The president, who was sworn in for a second and final five-year term in office on Sunday, is widely expected to include professionals, key opposition figures and industrialists to his cabinet.Jokowi, as the president is known, met with several high profile visitors on Monday, some of whom said they’d been asked to join the cabinet:Nadiem Makarim, co-founder of Indonesia’s first startup unicorn Gojek, resigned from his company and said he will take up a cabinet postMohammad Mahfud Mahmodin, a former Constitutional Court judge, said he was offered a ministerial postErick Thohir, a successful businessman who spearheaded the president’s election campaign team, confirmed he was offered a cabinet post related to the economy without providing further detailWishnutama Kusubandio, co-founder of PT Net Mediatama Televisi, was also offered a cabinet position Indonesian National Police Chief Tito Karnavian also visited the state palace but is yet to confirm whether he has been asked to join the cabinetJokowi, 58, took the oath of office at the parliament hall in Jakarta in a ceremony attended by several heads of state and representatives from more than 150 countries. The president immediately urged lawmakers to overhaul myriad of laws hindering investment and job creation to rid the country of poverty and lift the per-capita income to 320 million rupiah ($22,656) by the time Southeast Asia’s largest economy marks a century of its independence in 2045.“None of that will come automatically, and will not come easily,” Jokowi said in a speech after his inauguration. Indonesia must continue to innovate amid a world “full of risk, that is very dynamic.”Facing a public backlash over key reform plans in recent months, Jokowi has already reached across the aisle to opposition parties and the nation’s political elite in a bid strengthen his ruling coalition. The president has made amends with Prabowo Subianto, his rival in both the elections and a former general, as he bids to build a grand coalition to see through tougher economic reforms.The former furniture maker from Central Java was the first president to come from outside Indonesia’s elite or military and was returned to office following a landslide election win in April. Speculation has mounted in recent weeks about the possibility of Prabowo’s Gerindra party and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic party joining the government.The president may inaugurate the new cabinet on Wednesday, Mahfud told reporters after meeting Jokowi on Monday.The president will be counting on new allies in parliament to also counter a push by the dynastic families, including some who backed his rise, to amend the constitution and gain greater influence over the government.Biggest Challenge“Jokowi’s biggest challenge in his second term will be managing a legislature that is dominated by establishment elites,” said Hugo Brennan, principal political analyst with Verisk Maplecroft. “Having Prabowo inside the tent would dilute the influence of political elites within Jokowi’s coalition that will seek to stymie his reform agenda.”But including the main opposition party in the cabinet may deprive the young democracy of any mechanism for checks and balances on the government, Brennan said. It would also “fuel a culture of political horse-trading that undermines the policy-making process,” he said.Jokowi has vowed sweeping reforms in his second term, insisting in an interview early this month he would seek to overhaul the nation’s labor law by the end of the year. The president said he would also move to open up the economy further with changes to Indonesia’s negative investment list, which governs foreign ownership levels across a myriad of sectors.He’s repeatedly said the reforms were needed to support the economy which grew 5.05% in the second quarter, the slowest in two years. The International Monetary Fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook, revised down its forecast for Indonesian growth this year to 5% from 5.2% in July.Infrastructure DriveWhile Jokowi’s first tenure was dominated by an infrastructure drive, the second term must see a boost in “soft infrastructure” including legal reform, anti-corruption measures and education, Satria Sambijantoro, an economist at PT Bahana Sekuritas in Jakarta.“If we are looking at long-term economic policy, especially amid the escalating global uncertainty, reform of the labor law is probably the low-hanging fruit for the president to start to achieve some of the long-term economic vision,” Satria said.The president has also promised to gradually lower the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% by 2023 to make Indonesia more competitive. Still, he is already facing public anger over some of his plans, with protesters rallying against the labor market reforms, a crime bill and legislation that weakened the nation’s anti-graft agency.If Indonesia is to follow the likes of China and become one of the world’s biggest economies it must continue with reforms in areas like human resources, Satria said. “In the next five years, the president needs to focus not only on short-term economic policies but also on long-term policies.”(Updates with Thohir offered cabinet post in third bullet point)\--With assistance from Rieka Rahadiana.To contact the reporters on this story: Karlis Salna in Jakarta at ksalna@bloomberg.net;Viriya Singgih in Jakarta at vsinggih@bloomberg.net;Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Kutty Abraham at tabraham4@bloomberg.net;Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net;Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Indonesia’s Jokowi Sworn in as Wobbling Growth Tests Reforms
(Bloomberg) -- Joko Widodo was inaugurated as Indonesia’s president for a second five-year term and faces an early test to shore up support for reforms aimed at boosting investment and rejuvenating an economy growing at its slowest pace in two years.Widodo, 58, read the oath of office at the parliament hall in Jakarta on Sunday where he was given a rousing reception by attendees including several heads of state and representatives from more than 150 countries. The event was held amid tight security as the capital was rocked by civil unrest in recent weeks over a controversial policy agenda and a senior minister was stabbed in a suspected terror attack.Jokowi, as the president is known, begins his final stint at the helm of Southeast Asia’s largest economy vowing to overhaul labor market rules and open up the country to more foreign investment. Facing a public backlash over key reform plans, he has already reached across the aisle to opposition parties and the nation’s political elite in a bid strengthen his ruling coalition.The president will announce the much-awaited cabinet line-up on Monday, Jokowi told reporters before leaving for his inauguration. The new cabinet may include a revamped finance team and key opposition figures as he seeks to secure support for his policy agenda.Jokowi said Indonesia had set itself a target of becoming a $7 trillion economy and one of the world’s top-five economies by 2045, with poverty eliminated. “However, none of that will come automatically, and will not come easily,” he said during his speech.Indonesia must continue to innovate amid a world “full of risk, that is very dynamic.” He said he would call on lawmakers to introduce two “major laws” including one that will target labor market, adding that too often current legislation was hampering job creation.Past presidents Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Megawati Soekarnoputri attended the swearing in. The previous Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, jailed for blasphemy for part of the president’s first term, was also at the ceremony. Purnama, known as Ahok, was deputy governor under Jokowi.The former furniture maker from Central Java was the first president to come from outside Indonesia’s elite or military. He was returned to office following a landslide election win in April in which he defeated Prabowo Subianto, repeating his 2014 victory over the Suharto-era general.Prabowo, who was the son-in-law of the dictator Suharto, and Jokowi have since made amends after what was a divisive presidential campaign. Speculation has mounted in recent weeks about the possibility of Prabowo’s Gerindra party and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic party joining the government.Jokowi will be counting on a grand coalition in parliament to get through tough economic reforms as he faces a push by the dynastic families, including some that backed his rise, to amend the constitution and gain greater influence over the government.“Jokowi’s biggest challenge in his second term will be managing a legislature that is dominated by establishment elites,” said Hugo Brennan, principal political analyst with Verisk Maplecroft. “Having Prabowo inside the tent would dilute the influence of political elites within Jokowi’s coalition that will seek to stymie his reform agenda.”But having the main opposition party in the cabinet may deprive the young democracy of any mechanism for checks and balances on the government, Brennan said. Gerindra joining the ruling coalition would also “fuel a culture of political horse-trading that undermines the policy-making process,” he said.Sweeping ReformsJokowi has vowed sweeping reforms in his second term, insisting in an interview early this month he would seek to overhaul the nation’s labor law by the end of the year. The plan, which he said is his “first priority”, is aimed at appeasing labor unions as well as foreign investors and the business sector who are reluctant to put money into Indonesia or expand under the current labor market regime.The president said he would also move to open up the economy further with changes to Indonesia’s negative investment list, which governs foreign ownership levels across a myriad of sectors.Jokowi has repeatedly said the reforms are needed to support the economy which grew 5.05% in the second quarter, the slowest in two years. The International Monetary Fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook, revised down its forecast for Indonesian growth this year to 5% from 5.2% in July.The president has also promised to gradually lower the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% by 2023 to make Indonesia more competitive. Still, he is already facing public anger over some of his plans, with protesters rallying against the labor market reforms, a crime bill and legislation that weakened the nation’s anti-graft agency.(Updates with Jokowi comment in fifth paragraph. An earlier version was corrected to remove reference to chief justice in second paragraph)\--With assistance from Rieka Rahadiana.To contact the reporters on this story: Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.net;Viriya Singgih in Jakarta at vsinggih@bloomberg.net;Karlis Salna in Jakarta at ksalna@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Kutty Abraham at tabraham4@bloomberg.net;Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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