Indonesia’s place in the global jungle

I have loved Indonesia from my first night there hitching into Jakarta with the Herald Tribune correspondent, drinking with German landscape gardeners and being introduced to a huge bunch of locals in a bar. Even being thrown out of the hotel the next day couldn’t break my mood.  Each trip back merely confirms that I will move out to live in such a great wonderland in a few years. Its huge diversity excites me, with delicious food, friendly people and a certain adventurousness, it continues to pull me in. It is also a growing country with huge potential and I want to be part of it.

Below the Economist blogger Banyan outlines part of Indonesia’s future.

Its people agree that their democratic country should play a bigger global role; but what?

BY DINT of size, population and potential wealth, Indonesia has long loomed large over its own backyard. The archipelago nation bestrides the world’s busiest sea lanes. Some 231m Indonesians account for two-fifths of the population of ASEAN, the ten-country Association of South-East Asian Nations. A young and reasonably educated population offers perennial promise, as do vast deposits of oil, gas and minerals, forests and palm-oil plantations. For all that ASEAN operates according to its famed consensus, Indonesia has been its stealth leader.

More here

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