July 17, 2009

JUST ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL REGIME CHANGE:

Sound, Stable Indonesia: A terrorist attack can't derail a booming economy. (Ian Bremmer and David Kiu, 07.17.09, Forbes)

The resilience of Indonesia's currency and markets in the face of the terrorist attacks underscores the quiet confidence investors have developed towards Indonesia.

The country already figures among the world's top three exporters of coal, natural gas, crude palm oil and natural rubber. It is home to the world's largest gold mine and second-largest copper mine. Its 237 million people give Indonesia a larger population than Brazil or Russia. The growth of its workforce over the next two decades will likely prove more promising than for any of the four BRIC countries. Its still relatively low Internet and credit penetration give the country room to grow.

More importantly, Indonesia is a political success story. Legislative and presidential elections this year were largely free and fair--a noteworthy achievement for a country burdened little more than a decade ago with a military dictatorship that pervaded nearly every aspect of political and economic life. The Indonesian military has withdrawn from politics in recent years, a development that has eluded neighboring Thailand and the Philippines. Despite the recent bomb attacks, the first in four years, Indonesia has largely beaten back the rise of Islamist extremism and al-Qaida-inspired terrorism that have embroiled other countries like Pakistan. The peace agreement in Aceh has helped contain separatist violence.

In short, Indonesia has traveled a long way from the crossroads it faced following the Asian financial crisis and the fall of Suharto in the late 1990s.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 17, 2009 7:54 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« UNITY, BUT POST-AHMEDINEJAD: | Main | SHOW ME A WITCH TRIAL AND I'LL SHOW YOU A WITCH: »