Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 00:38 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 00:38 | SYDNEY

Overlooked stories of 2010: Indonesia

13 December 2010 12:41

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Project, ANU, and former Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo.

The growing strength of Indonesia has been a major development in Southeast Asia in the past year. For Australia, it is enormously important that Indonesia does well. A thought experiment underlines the point: consider what it would mean for Australia if our immediate large neighbour was Pakistan or Bangladesh rather than Indonesia' How fortunate we are to have Indonesia as a neighbour!

Indonesia was very hard-hit by the Asian economic crisis of 1997-98, and it took almost ten years for Indonesia to overcome the fallout. But recently, a sustained recovery has begun to take hold. And Indonesia, like much of the rest of Asia, has managed to avoid most of the fallout from the global financial crisis (which should, perhaps, be renamed the 'Western Economic Crisis').

The good news for Australia is not only that China and India are doing well, but so is Indonesia. Our giant neighbour (population: 237 million) is likely to have an economic growth rate of over 6 per cent in 2010. And commentators are beginning to talk about the possibility of 7 per cent or even 8 per cent in the years ahead.

Photo by Flickr user Chandra Marsano.