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  • International Politics


    Tony Sitathan, Contributing Editor, S. E. Asia

    Can Indonesia live up to its promise? When the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, there was fear that Indonesia – the largest democratic, but predominantly Muslim nation – would be a similar target for the Al Qaeda network. "We were largely fearful that the events of Sept. 11 would be repeated in Indonesia, since Indonesia has largely condemned the attack on the U.S. and has (visited) the U.S., expressing its support for the bombing of the Taliban in Afghanistan," said Major General R. Soemadi of the Ministry of Defense. There were several short-lived demonstrations in the streets of Jakarta, followed by a bomb scare in a local shopping complex. This was nothing significant. However, on a greater scale, Indonesia was fast losing its competitiveness as an Asian E&P haven. Despite the country’s long-time producer status, little was done to shore up foreign investors’ confidence. According to recent governmental data, foreign investment approvals (as of October 2001) fell to U.S.$6.5 billion, down nearly 50% from 2000.

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