During the Amcham breakfast the subject of coruption was brought up. One of the men mentioned what he refered to as the “law of unintended consequences.” He argued that this was the most reliable (and frustrating) law in Indonesia. The law of unitiended consequences is fufilled when something sounds good in theory but when actually acted on the, factors that had not been considered before cause uneqpected outcomes. in the Amcham meeting, the example given of power plant regulations. It was meant to protect buisnesses but it resulted in the inability of any buisness to use a small size plant. Companies that could afford this plant size were too large and the companies that fit the size requirement were unable to fund the plant.
Halal refers to any object or action that Muslims are allowed to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. It is used to by Muslims to select food that is seen as permissible to their religion. After having gone to both JAPFA Comfeed and Sari Roti here in Jakarta, we have heard both companies mention their Halal practices but have received very questionable feedback when we asked how their Halal practices were carried out.
The last few days one topic that arises at almost every company visit is President Barak Obama. Before coming to Indonesia I would have never thought any where outside of the states you would be able to find people with such a love for Barack Obama. When the Indonesians talk about Obama there is always such a sense of pride in their voice, a pride and trust you do not see in many American citizens. In November, Obama delivered a speech at the University of Indonesia that discussed the forging of new relations between the United States and Indonesia. When asked, not a single student on the trip knew that Obama had spoke in Indonesia but every Indonesian we have encountered raves on about the day that Obama delivered his speech. In comparison to other countries I have visited it is surprisingly refreshing to visit a country where the connotations of the United States’ democracy are not dominated with negative views. In a business setting it will be interesting to see how President Obama’s presence and influence will help to create better business relations with Indonesia.
We visited the US Commercial Service in Jakarta to learn how the US works with Indonesia on education, politics, economics, agriculture, environment, and security.