The first half of 2017 has come and gone, thankfully, though no one would deny that it was a rough start to the year. The most significant event was undoubtedly the Jakarta Gubernatorial election, arguably one of the country’s most bitterly fought political campaigns. It threatened to cripple Jakarta, catapulting the city to national and global scrutiny. The use of religion for political purposes puts the country’s already-fragile social fabric on the line, and with it, investors’ confidence too.
Ideological battle lines have been drawn between Pancasilas and the ideals of secularism, and the forces of militant religious fundamentalism. To counter the militant groups, the government recently issued the presidential regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) No.2/2017 on mass organisations, which enables the government to disband any organisation that spread anti-Pancasila ideologies. Its effectiveness has yet been seen, but a strong stand against radical politics bodes well for businesses. Indonesia has a buoyant 250 million-strong economy, which is the largest in the region, and one that global investors are keen to tap into.
As the largest Muslim democracy in the world, Indonesia has an important leadership role to play. In light of global and regional terrorism concerns, the world is increasingly looking to Indonesia for stewardship and guidance. It is clear that President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, understands this fully. His reform agenda represents the collective ambition of an entire generation of Indonesians to propel the country into the league of great powers.
In this issue’s cover story, the Millionaireasia ID team examines Indonesia’s ambitions to greatness. The Global Maritime Fulcrum, a national maritime vision designed by Jokowi in 2014 is a new doctrine that boldly primes the archipelago to become a global maritime power. It is a game-changing vision for the largely agrarian-minded country. 2017 is seemingly the year Jokowi plans to move the country in this direction, especially with the recent publishing of a 239-page Indonesian Marine Policy. Will Indonesia’s maritime ambitions find synergy with China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative? These are exciting times indeed.
All eyes will be on the Indonesian economy in the second half of the year. Investors are interested in President Jokowi’s reform strategies, which are ambitious and mammoth to say the least: revitalise the economy, attract more foreign direct investment, build multiple transport infrastructures across the country, and participate in the AEOI (automatic exchange of information) tax regime. The country will see more infrastructure projects taking shape, with more to follow.
With the economy looking up, the art, culture and creative scene finds a greater foothold in the country. The most anticipated development would be the opening of Indonesia’s first contemporary art museum, MACAN. The opening of this privately owned, world-class institution, will be a milestone moment for Indonesia’s immense network of artists. Along with the Indonesian government-backed BEKRAF, the country’s rich resource of creative minds could soon experience a cultural renaissance of sorts.
Also, the nightlife and gastronomy in Indonesia’s capital city is truly something to look out for. Our editors ate through a list of new Indonesian restaurants that have somehow decided to sprout at the same time, and we uncovered hidden gems in the city that you’ll be surprised even existed here. These are secrets that your most well heeled buddy would not even tell you about. It is a great time to be alive, and even better, to be here, as the country develops and improves at a breakneck speed. Sit back and enjoy the journey — of life, and of the July 2017 issue of Millionaireasia ID.