Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Indonesia The Opportunity The Way!

How does history look from an Asian perspective.  For us Europeans and to a lesser extent America. History is about the birth of civilization, the cradle of civilization yet when we look at history we look through our western eyes, we look to the Greeks their philosophers, the Romans their armies and structure. Our foray into Asia really only came of age in the 13C, although many Europeans were living in China, mostly as missionaries or traders.

Genghis Khan can be attributed to birth of modern China. He took his armies throughout the regions sweeping many dynasties into one country, what is now modern day China. Bringing rule to the many regions that surrounded the old imperial kingdom. So successful his empire he went on to encompass much of Muslim enclaves of the Middle East.  With his Mongol Army he reached to the gates of Vienna Austria. Genghis Khan was perhaps the greatest military strategist that ever existed. But, he also had great commercial insight as it was him that devised and implemented the “Silk Road”, which of course is the founding father to President Xi “Belt and Road Initiative” BRI.

Next came the Middle Ages, the Copernicus, renaissance, Ottoman era. Copernicus began our understanding of the universe how the sun forms its centre. Then came Napoleon the period of enlightenment. After which came “British Colonialism”, “American Independence”, concluding with two world wars. Of course this can be further defined: Caesar, Cleopatra, the Holy Roman Empire and Black Death, Martin Luther and Louis XIV, the slave trade and Industrial Revolution, the Congress of Vienna and Crimean War, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin. 

But history is much more than this, Mesopotamia and Egypt were dominant much before the Greeks or the Romans.  Asia at this point was already a powerful force, great trading nations were established and operated for many centuries BC. Indeed, it was not until the 4thC BC that Europe through the Greeks opened trade with Asia bringing spices to the tables of Europe.

My point in all of this is that Europe needs to trade with Asia, but, as Asia develops we will find that our colonial past is not viewed through the rose-tinted glasses that our western teachings allow us to remember.  Asia is much more and we must be mindful of this, but not apologetic.

For the benefit of my blog I focus on just one small part, Indonesia. A country so diverse in cultures, languages and religions. If lifted off the map and overlaid on Europe it would stretch from London to Tehran. The unifying language is Bahasa Indonesia, but in reality there are 250 languages each distinct in their own right. The population extends to 260M people. On its own it represents one third of Europe. All of which are upwardly mobile, a significant middle class exists today, within a modern day progressive democracy. Indeed, PWC predict that Indonesia will be the worlds 5th largest economy within the next 10 years. Development projects: New airports, toll roads, power stations, an advanced telecoms network with perhaps the largest mobile operators outside of China,  these are already taking place and supports PWCs projections.

2019 is an election year, this will take place in April. It is widely predicted that the incumbent Jokowi Widodo will retain the presidency.  But, Investors usually adopt a wait-and-see approach ahead of Indonesia’s presidential elections. For this reason, the Indonesian government will continue to rely on domestic investment and household spending to drive the country's economy in 2019. The Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated a social assistance budget of 381 trillion IDR in 2019, up 33% from that of the previous year of 287 trillion IDR to boost consumer spending in order to keep this crucial aspect of the economy on a safe track.

Statura provides a network of skilled local qualified business folk, most have been associated with me directly or through Statura since the mid 90s.  We have weathered revolutions, currency upheavals and participated in this dynamic transition to what is now a modern honest democracy.

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