[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, March 06, 2009

[Meetings with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Trade Minister Mari Pangestu]
After Makassar, I spent a day in Jakarta for meetings with VP Kalla, Trade Minister Mari, intellectuals and media analysts. Election season has started against the backdrop of a looming economic downturn. VP Kalla whom I've known many years since 1999 was his usual perky confident self. Unlike Singapore, Indonesia's export dependence is only 30%. Ten years ago, few expected that Indonesia's transition to a democracy would be so smooth after the sudden collapse of the Suharto administration. The devolution of power to local authorities means much greater responsiveness to local needs but it has also led to a fragmentation of power in the country which has made the business environment more complicated. Interestingly, election spending has given a helpful boost to the economy.

Meeting with Jusuf Kalla

Meeting with Trade Minister Mari Pangestu

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