2015 Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum, Book Launch in Yogyakarta & Public Lecture in Surabaya

2015 Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum

During the Book Launch. L-R:

During the Book Launch. L-R: Janti Soesastro, Akbar Tandjung, Harry Tjan Silalahi, Sofjan Wanandi, Stephen Grenville, Tommy Firman, Mari Pangestu


This is the third year the Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum has been held. Jointly organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and ANU Indonesia Project, the event, held at the CSIS Auditorium in the Pakarti Building, Jakarta, was opened by Professor Mari Pangestu from the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia. Dr Pangestu is the former Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy and also a colleague and a good friend of the Late Dr Hadi Soesastro. Even five years after his passing, Pak Minky, as his friends and colleagues called him, is still widely missed. Dr Pangestu’s speech was followed by a short welcoming address by Dr Chris Manning on behalf of the ANU Indonesia Project. Dr Manning also took a few moments to introduce the Indonesia Project and its activities to the audience.

Dr Stephen Grenville, AO, from Lowy Institute delivering this year's Hadi Soesastro Lecture at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta

Dr Stephen Grenville, AO, from Lowy Institute delivering this year’s Hadi Soesastro Lecture at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta


This year, Dr Stephen Grenville, AO, from the Lowy Institute, presented the Hadi Soesastro Lecture entitled Deepening the Indonesian financial sector. The Indonesian financial sector is a product of history, its economic environment, and Indonesia’s place in the global economy. These circumstances have produced a financial sector which is tiny. Even in comparison with its regional peers, it is small and undeveloped. Dr Grenville tried to answer whether Indonesia’s economic development has suffered as a result of this embryonic sector, and whether different policy approaches might have changed the structure in a beneficial way. In short, while  the global financial sector as a whole is overdeveloped (as was demonstrated in 2008), Indonesia’s would benefit from a significant expansion, especially to finance longer-term investment such as infrastructure. The best prospect for early expansion would be to foster bond issuance by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and a large bond-issuing infrastructure-financing institution. Dr Pangestu was the discussant in this session and it was chaired by Dr Titik Anas, Director of Presisi Research Indonesia. A lively interactive discussion followed the Lecture, with some notable remarks and discussion led by Ms Felia Salim and Ms Shanti Poesposoetjipto from Samudra Indonesia Tbk.

The 2014 Update Book Launch followed the Lecture. The book, entitled The Yudhoyono’s presidency: Indonesia’s decade of stability and stagnation (editors: Edward Aspinall, Marcus Mietzner, Dirk Tomsa, published by ISEAS in 2015), was launched by Mr Sofjan Wanandi, special advisor to Indonesia’s Vice President. A book discussion of selected chapters of the book was chaired by Ms Lina Alexandra from CSIS. Among the speakers were Dr Dinna Wisnu from Paramadina University, Professor Melani Budianta from the University of Indonesia, Dr Chris Manning, and the book’s editor, Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University. Dr Wisnu, together with Mr Faisal Basri from the University of Indonesia, assessed social welfare policies during the Yudhoyono’s presidency, while Professor Budianta together with her co-authors wrote on gender inequality, and Dr Manning together with Dr Riyana Miranti from University of Canberra discussed their research on jobs, poverty and inequality.

The last part of the Forum was the Mini Update on Indonesia’s economic and political development. Chaired by Mr Tobias Basuki from CSIS, this last session still attracted quite a large audience.  Dr Haryo Aswicahyono from CSIS delivered the economics update and Dr Dirk Tomsa the political update.

The HSPF was attended by approximately 150 people, of whom around 40 percent were female. The audience was made up of government and private sector participants, academics, students and the general public.

The Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum is a tribute to the late Dr Hadi Soesastro, one of the founders of CSIS. It aims to disseminate and engage discussion on Indonesia’s public policies.

Book Launch in Yogyakarta

Panels and oraganisers of 2014 Update Book Launch in Yogyakarta

Panelists and oraganisers of the 2014 Update Book Launch in Yogyakarta


The Book Launch was also held in Yogyakarta on 11 June. Organised by the Social Research (SOREC), Faculty of Social and Political Science (FISIPOL) Gadjah Mada University (UGM), the event was attended by approximately 80 people, mostly students, and mostly male. The Launch was opened by the Dean of FISIPOL UGM, Dr Erwan Agus Purwanto, followed by introductory remark by Dr Chris Manning on behalf of the ANU Indonesia Project. The book discussion was chaired by Dr Najib Azca from FISIPOL UGM, with Dr Dirk Tomsa speaking as one of the book editors and outlining the contents. Discussants were Dr Rimawan Pradiptyo from the Faculty of Economics and Business UGM and Dr Dodi Ambardi from FISIPOL UGM.

A very engaging discussion ensued. Students, from UGM and other universities, raised many interesting questions regarding the Yudhoyono’s presidency, not only during his office, but also in comparison to the current presidency. The five most interesting questions each received a free Update Book courtesy of the Indonesia Project.

Public Lecture in Surabaya

On 11 June 2015,  Dr Stephen Grenville AO also presented his talk at the University of Airlangga’s Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB UNAIR) in Surabaya. Dr. Rudi Purwono and Dr. Windijarto (both of FEB UNAIR) were discussants. About 200 people attended the lecture, mostly undergraduate and graduate students, not only from UNAIR but also other universities in Surabaya. There were also many representatives from government agencies such as the Surabaya Planning Agency, OJK and KPPU, and from local financial institutions Bank Indonesia, BRI, Bank Jatim and BNI.
One of the many questions submitted to speakers regarded the robustness of the local (East Javan) real sector for investment purposes, such as the land and property market, small scale agricultural and fisheries ventures, food and leather products manufacturing, and other opportunities. On the other hand, local people are less familiar with the features and regulations of the new financial investment products. Both are seen as a challenge to the deepening of the Indonesian financial sector. Many participants also remarked on the contributions of the late Hadi Soesastro, an East Javan native, and appreciated the lecture series to honour him.

Lecture in Surabaya

Media reports

This series of events, including reviews of the book, were covered by the following media:

You can watch every session of the Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum here:

The presentation file from the Hadi Soesastro Lecture by Dr Stephen Grenville AO is available here.

This article was prepared by L Napitupulu, N Muliani and B Perkasa.