Who is benefiting from Jokowi’s economic policies? Panel discussion 21 April 2016
Co-hosted by the Asia Institute and the Indonesia Forum.
Improving the welfare of average Indonesians was a core element of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s campaign platform in 2014, in an election that took place at a time when income inequality in Indonesia had risen to record levels. Beyond his signature “Healthy Indonesia Card” and “Smart Indonesia Card” programs, Jokowi promised a more equitable Indonesia through a focus on cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, the maritime economy, regional development and infrastructure. To fund his programs Jokowi pledged to significantly increase tax collection, and cut fuel subsidies early in his term, which had previously consumed roughly a fifth of the budget.
Yet President Jokowi’s government has faced a turbulent first eighteen months. Jokowi has needed to consolidate his power base as president, facing significant opposition even from his own party PDI-P and other entrenched elites, and seeing cabinet ministers openly disagreeing in public both with each other and with government policy. His government has also faced significant global economic headwinds and a challenging domestic environment for economic policy-making owing to rising economic nationalism, at times promoted by the president’s own rhetoric.
In this public panel, three prominent experts will explore Jokowi’s economic policies and who is benefiting from them, and delve into how Jokowi has managed the politics and interests of the economic sphere.
Professor Vedi Hadiz (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne) – Jokowi and the oligarchs
Dr Matthew Wai-Poi (The World Bank, Jakarta) – Inequality and Jokowi’s policy response
Eve Warburton (Australian National University) – The politics of Jokowi’s economic policy
Date: Thursday 21 April 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room
Level 1, Sidney Myer Asia Centre
The University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010
Photo: U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)