ANU experts help launch Indonesian economic super think tank

20 February 2018

This initiative has the potential to change the game on economic policy making in Indonesia in a way that has not been so for a couple of decades.

Three ANU academics have played key roles in collaborating with the establishment of Indonesia's first economic research super think tank, The Indonesian Bureau of Economic Research (IBER), which has launched in Jakarta.

The Bureau will spearhead a national effort to lift the quality of Indonesia's economics profession and policy work.

Professor Peter Drysdale from the ANU East Asia Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Dr Shiro Armstrong, Director, Australia-Japan Research Centre at the ANU, and Adam Triggs, PhD candidate in Crawford and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution are working with leading Indonesian economists to kick start the international stream of research with IBER.

They joined the launch event and presented initial research.

"This initiative has the potential to change the game on economic policymaking in Indonesia in the longer term and bring top policy thinking into play in a way that has not been so for a couple of decades," Professor Drysdale said.

"The new year has begun with a global economic order that is dangerously uncertain. Financial risks are high and Asia's capacity to respond to them may be tested. It's very timely to launch IBER at this point because of the demand for quality research policy input to deal with the big challenges that Indonesia faces," he said.

IBER's early studies will include collaborative work with EABER at the ANU on trade reform and negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the proposed free-trade agreement between member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations. (ASEAN).

IBER will also start work on reviewing the region's economic protections against a future financial crisis. This project will be presented to the IMF-World Bank Meetings in Bali in October.

The ANU Indonesia Project and EABER will be international partners of Indonesia's new IBER initiative.