INDONESIA PROJECT NEWS No. 9 (January–June 2010)

The Minister of Finance (Sri Mulyani), the Australian Ambassador (Bill Farmer), Minister Counsellor-Jakarta (Jacqui de Lacey), Hal Hill, and other Australian participants at the HLPD discussions in Jakarta in February 2010


The Highlights on the Indonesia Project calendar for the period January–June 2010 were the Jakarta component of the High Level Policy Dialogues (HLPD) held in February 2010, a workshop on Aid for Trade in Indonesia held at the ANU on 7 May 2010, the institution of two new joint seminar programs in Jakarta, and a special presentation at the ANU by former Indonesian President Yusuf Kalla.

The Jakarta High Level Policy Dialogue was held on February 24–25, the third in this annual series. As usual, this consisted of an intensive day of discussion on topics identified by senior Indonesian officials in the Ministry of Finance, followed by a communique and report to Minister Sri Mulyani. Topics discussed on this occasion included macroeconomic management survey and policy challenges, financial market regulation and supervision, climate change and the environment, and trade policy and regional economic architecture. The Indonesian participants came from various government agencies and think tanks, while the Australian participants were from the ANU, the Lowy Institute, AusAID, The Treasury, and the University of Tasmania.

On May 7 the Project in collaboration with AusAID held a one day workshop on Aid for Trade to discuss a draft report prepared by Chatib M. Basri, Peter van Diermen and Erinch Sahan. The report discussed the role of development assistance in maximising the potential benefits (and minimising the costs) from trade, especially in relation to bilateral arrangements between Australia and Indonesia, and also from regional trade and economic agreements. Discussants included academics from the Project (Hal Hill, Peter McCawley and Chris Manning), University of Adelaide (Christopher Findlay, James Redden and Raul Torres) and experts in trade (Malcolm Bosworth). Government researchers and policy makers from Treasury, Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID and DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) also attended and made valuable contributions to the discussion. The meeting was remarkable for the frank and productive exchanges between the academics, government officials and economic policy consultants.

Workshop participants discussing the draft paper on Aid for Trade

Budy P. Resosudarmo, currently in Jakarta on leave from the Project, has collaborated with the Institute for Economic & Social Research, Jakarta (LPEM) in the setting up of two new joint seminar programs held at the University of Indonesia, namely the Afternoon Discussion Group at LPEM (Kelompok Diskusi Sore Hari-LPEM) and the LPEM Economic Development Seminar Series (Seminar Ekonomi Pembangunan-LPEM). Budy is assisted by committee members Arianto Patunru, Ari Kuncoro, Djoni Hartono, Suahasil Nazara, TM Zakir Machmud, Lydia Napitupulu and Widyono Soetjipto.

The Project in cooperation with the ANU Indonesian Student Association (PPIA-ANU), was delighted to host a special public lecture by Mr. Jusuf Kalla, a former Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, on 10 June 2010. Mr. Kalla’s speech was entitled Making Good Economic and Social Policy in a Democratic Indonesia: An Insider’s Perspective. The audience (just under 200) comprised students—some of whom had travelled interstate— academics, and government officials. The speech was followed by a lively and wide ranging question and answer session covering topics such as green energy, government regulations, recent issues in Papua, and Golkar and whether Mr. Kalla had plans to run for President in the 2014 election. Jusuf Kalla’s visit to Canberra also generated considerable media interest with interviews conducted by Bisnis Indonesia, ABC Radio Australia and CMS Radio (Click here to listen to the podcast of Jusuf Kalla’s talk).


Our regular Core Activities include the publication of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES), the Sadli Lecture and Mini Update in Jakarta, and the holding of Indonesia Study Group seminars.

The most recent BIES includes papers on Indonesia’s economic performance in comparative perspective, the restructuring of Indonesia’s sub-national public debt, growth and poverty, and the effects of the global financial crisis in Kalimantan, in addition to the regular Survey of Recent Developments. Click on the link for a summary of the contents of the April issue of the BIES. This issue is available online.

The fourth annual Sadli Lecture was held in cooperation with the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the University of Indonesia (LPEM, FEUI), on 15 April 2010 at the Borobodur Hotel in Jakarta. It was given by Professor Wing Thye Woo from the University of California at Davis, and entitled ‘Indonesia’s Economic Performance in Comparative Perspective and a New Policy Framework for 2049’.

We were pleased to launch the book from the 27th Indonesia Update conference in 2009, Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions, and Society edited by Edward Aspinall and Marcus Mietzner, in Jakarta in conjunction with a Mini Update Conference in collaboration with CSIS on 19 May 2010.

Recent Indonesia Study Group (ISG) talks include recent political events, democratisation, health, economic and social policy, household welfare, institutions and poverty across regions, students and political violence, Sharia by-laws, and the changing perceptions of Indonesians in the Middle East. The last three ISG addresses in June 2010 were given by:
• Mark Baird (consultant, ex World Bank) on Recent economic and political developments in Indonesia
• Adrian Hayes (Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute (ADSRI), ANU) on What’s ailing the health sector in Indonesia? Public health and private practice during decentralization and reformasi
• Edward Aspinall (Department of Political and Social Change, ANU) on Democratization and the weakening of ethnic politics in Indonesia
(Go to the Indonesia Project website for the full list of seminars. Podcasts are available for most of the talks).

In addition to engagement in Core Activities, staff have given presentations at seminars and workshops on a wide range of topics in Australia, Indonesia and elsewhere in the past six months. These include ethnic politics and democracy assistance (Ed Aspinall), political Islam and radicalism and Australian-Indonesian relations (Greg Fealy), Asian crises and ASEAN economic integration (Hal Hill), human rights, urban-rural migration (Sherry Kong and Chris Manning), economic diplomacy and responses to natural disasters (Peter McCawley), and Southeast environmental issues and their effect on human health and living circumstances (Budy P. Resosudarmo).

Recent media contributions include Hal Hill’s articles on the recent political conflict over the Bank Century case and the resignation of the Finance Minister Sri Mulyani: ‘Indonesia being Weakened by Factionalism’, Australian Financial Review (March 8), and ‘Where the Power Lies in Indonesia’, Wall Street Journal Asia (May 17). An English translation was blished in the Jakarta Post (January 2010) of an article by Ross Mcleod and Arianto Patunru—originally published in Indonesian in Koran Tempo in late 2009—with the new title ‘Will Indonesia sacrifice its anti-corruption champions?’.

Five guests visited the Project under the visitor’s program during the past six months. The Project hosted two Survey writers, Arianto Patunru (Director, LPEM) and Mark Baird (Independent consultant, ex World Bank). Monica Wihadja (Research Associate, CSIS) was here to work on poverty, Risti Permani (University of Adelaide) gave a seminar on Islamic education and Susan Olivia (University of Melbourne) one on health and poverty in Indonesia.

New Books
Edward Aspinall’s Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia (Stanford University Press presents a fascinating study of the genesis, growth and decline of a nationalist movement. Edward Aspinall and Marcus Mietzner edited the 2009 Update book, Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions and Society (ISEAS). Chris Manning, Budy P. Resosudarmo and Sherry (Tao) Kong contributed to a book entitled Great Migration: Rural-urban Migration in China and Indonesia (Edward Elgar) edited by Xin Meng and Chris Manning (click on the link for more information about this project).


The 28th Update conference on the topic of Employment, Living Standards and Poverty in Contemporary Indonesia, convened by Chris Manning and Sudarno Sumarto will be held on Friday–Saturday, 24–25 September 2010.


Hadi Soesastro, a long term supporter and Research Associate of the Project passed away on May 4. His personal encouragement and professional assistance will be greatly missed.

Contact Details:
Indonesia Project
Arndt-Corden Division of Economics, RSPAS
Crawford School of Economics and Governance
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200
T: +61 2 6125 3794
F: +61 2 6125 3700

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The Indonesia Project wishes to thank ANU and AusAID for their substantial and continuing support.

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