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THE THINKER: A BIT MORE, PLEASE

Aris  Ananta

For the Jakarta Globe, 2 March 2011

Bank Indonesia last month made the right move in raising its interest rate from a record low. The debate now is whether the central bank should raise the rate further to tame rising inflation in Indonesia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: economy, English, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TRADE OFF BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL GOALS?

Aris  Ananta

For  Mletiko, 22 December  2010

It is very encouraging to hear that the Indonesia’s Minister of Trade, Mari Pengestu, has urged the palm oil industrialists to do their business without sacrificing the environment. The minister asked the industrialists, who just convened in Bali, Indonesia, to improve the international image of Indonesia. Until now, Indonesia has been accused of sacrificing its environments for its economic growth, including the growth of the palm-oil industries.

Sadly,  some participants of the conference  believed that there were two opposing groups. One is the government of Indonesia, who was concerned with social and economic development. Another group comprises the  NGOs who  were interested on environment.  This dichotomy may have led to a perception that the government of Indonesia did not care about environmental goals, while the NGOs did not pay attention to social and economic development issues.

We also heard   statements implying that  though the industries have been harmful to the environments, they have contributed a lot to economic growth, social development, and employment creation.   They also argued that  Indonesia is a still a low-income country. Indonesia  needs to grow and therefore, Indonesia should be allowed to destroy its environment for the benefit of growth. They implicitly said that the “benefit” from the industries can compensate the suffering of the people from the environmental degradation. They  do not know that the poor usually suffers the most from environmental degradation, though in the short term the poor may seem to enjoy the destruction of the environment. This is similar to the arguments used by cigarette industries to defend their businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economy, English, environment, , , , , , , , , ,



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