George Soros speaks in Jakarta

Indonesia has a good president in SBY, but what does the country need to get going economically? American philanthropist George Soros visited Jakarta recently and talked to high level executives. Mr Soros has a history of using his money to try to do good things around the world, especially in Eastern Europe, where he was born. A player on th stock market he talked about how the economic meltdown a few years ago in Indonesia affected his money making and charitable activities.

The part of the Jakarta Post interview that I liked was when he was asked “How do you see the potential for speculators here? (Indonesia). He replied ” What Indonesia needs more are investors, both direct and equity investments through the market, and to attract them, Indonesia has to live down the reputation acquired under Soeharto and after the financial collapse, because there was not enough respect for property rights and the rule of law.
Conditions are improving but not enough. A lot of progress is being made particularly in uncovering corruption.”
There you have it, not enough respect for property rights and the rule of law. Susilo is clamping down on corruption, but its so ingrained. I was talking to a British tourist at lunchtime today who is dating a local. He told me he felt very uncomfortable when she rented a motorbike for him, and then inflated the price. Its all part of life out here and change takes time.